TRAVERSE CITY — Do or die time.
The Traverse City North Stars will be in that situation for the next three games — they hope.
The Stars trail Kalamazoo 0-2 in their best-of-five North Division playoff series that turns to Centre ICE Arena this weekend for possibly two contests on Traverse City's home ice.
Throw into the equation that a loss not only ends the season, but also the franchise, and that's some pressure.
"Definitely," TC defenseman Frank Gilbert said. "Hopefully, we can go back to Kalamazoo and have a chance to finish it there."
The team will be moving to Sault Ste. Marie next season, meaning Friday or Saturday could be the last North Stars games ever.
One stat that helps TC's cause of extending the series to Kalamazoo for a decisive Game 5 is that Traverse City is 18-8-2 at home this season.
"We're confident at home," Gilbert said. "Hopefully, that'll help turn it around."
The first thing the North Stars need to do is slow down Jacob McDowell. The 18-year-old from Dimondale had a goal in the 4-0 Game 1 win and tacked on a hat trick in Game 2's 7-3 eruption.
"In Kalamazoo, we made mistakes and they just capitalized on all their opportunities," Gilbert said. "We just need to cut down on our mistakes and play good defense again."
McDowell has more goals so far this series (four) than the North Stars. The K-Wings' Robbie Payne and Brandon Flood have five points each.
"He's good, but they made us pay on all our mistakes," Gilbert said of McDowell. "It's a combination of being a good player and doing things right out there."
Traverse City also needs to crank up the special teams. Kalamazoo is 3 for 8 on the power play. The Stars are 0 for 6.
"On penalty kill, we just have to calm down and relax out there," Gilbert said. "Our penalty kill is weaker than it usually is, and we just have to set that up this weekend."
In the other North Division playoff series, Michigan and Port Huron are deadlocked at a game apiece. Michigan, the No. 4 seed, hosts a pair of games this weekend. Port Huron is the No. 1 seed.
Traverse City hosts Kalamazoo Friday in playoff game
TRAVERSE CITY — Do or die time.
Ex-North Star Jean signs with N.Y. Rangers
The North Stars are no longer in Traverse City, but soon one of their former standouts will be.Continued ...
Stars' departure leaves void
With the North Stars' seven-year run in Traverse City over, where does Hockeytown North turn for its hockey fix now?Continued ...
Run ends for North Stars in Traverse City
TC ousted with 3-2 overtime lossContinued ...
K-Wings beat Stars again
Traverse City must win out to keep season aliveContinued ...
- Friday, April 6, 2012
Ex-North Star scores game- winner for FSU
Ferris State will play for the NCAA hockey championship for the first time on Saturday night, thanks to the game-winning goal from ex-Traverse City North Star Kyle Bonis.Continued ...
- Thursday, April 5, 2012
Stars open playoffs on the road
Don't expect a brawl, but there's going to be a fight to move on as the Traverse City North Stars hit the road Friday to start the North Division playoffs.Continued ...
- Monday, April 2, 2012
Badner's goals power Stars
Will Badner netted four goals Sunday afternoon as the Traverse City North Stars closed out the regular season with a win.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 31, 2012
North Stars blank Jamestown
Jared Van Wormer and Mitchell Snider each had a goal and an assist Friday night to spark the Traverse City North Stars to a 3-0 North American Hockey League win over Jamestown at Centre ICE. The North Stars scored a goal in each period.Continued ...
- Monday, March 26, 2012
Stars top Hitmen; last series on tap
The Traverse City North Stars will return home on a winning note, a three-game homestand with Jamestown remaining in the regular season.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 24, 2012
North Stars fall to Chicago
It wasn’t a good day to be an above-.500 North Division team. Traverse City failed to gain ground on Port Huron and Kalamazoo as all three of the top teams lost in the same evening.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 18, 2012
Jamestown avoids sweep
Jamestown avoided a sweep in the three-game weekend series on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Traverse City.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 17, 2012
Stars win again
Van Wormer, Rivard and Badner score in 3-1 victoryContinued ...
- Thursday, March 8, 2012
North Stars clinch spot in playoffs
The Traverse City North Stars clinched a playoff berth with a shutout of the Michigan Warriors.Continued ...
- Monday, March 5, 2012
North Stars come up short in OT
The Traverse City North Stars will finish the regular season with a split.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 4, 2012
North Stars win in shootout
Michal Toman’s shootout goal in the fifth round Saturday was the difference for Traverse City’s 4-3 win over Kalamazoo.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 3, 2012
North Stars moving to Sault Ste. Marie
The North Stars are moving north, but they’ll no longer be Stars. Traverse City’s North American Hockey League franchise has been sold to an ownership group in Sault Ste. Marie that will move the team there and operate as the Soo Eagles.Continued ...
- Wednesday, February 29, 2012
North Stars beat Kalamazoo
The Traverse City North Stars defeated Kalamazoo in a North American Hockey League game at Centre ICE on Tuesday.Continued ...
- Tuesday, February 28, 2012
TC's Snider earns honor from NAHL
It took a pair of shutouts by Alexandria goaltender Jacob Meyers to prevent Traverse City's Mitchell Snider from being the North American Hockey League's top player of the week honoree.Continued ...
- Thursday, February 23, 2012
Stars prospects represent team well
Each of five Traverse City representatives notched at least a point in the three-day NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.Continued ...
- Monday, February 20, 2012
Kalamazoo rallies to beat Stars
The Traverse City North Stars were clinging to a 2-1 lead when Kalamazoo exploded for four unanswered goals.Continued ...
- Saturday, February 18, 2012
Stars skate past Kalamazoo
Goalie Kyle Laslo stopped 36 shots Friday night as the Traverse City North Stars defeated Kalamazoo.Continued ...
- Monday, February 13, 2012
North Stars win
Division-leading Port Huron clinched a playoff berth on Saturday, but couldn't handle the North Stars on Sunday.Continued ...
- Saturday, February 11, 2012
Murphy propels Stars
Traverse City’s Sean Murphy earned the game’s No. 1 star Friday night.Continued ...
- Thursday, February 9, 2012
Short-handed North Stars fall
Playing short a skater all game, it didn't look like it on the ice. But it did on the scoreboard.Continued ...
- Ex-North Star Jean signs with N.Y. Rangers