The Proski Newcastle North Stars kicked off their weekend with a much needed win in their away game against the Sydney Bears.
The Sydney Bears were hosting the North Stars at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium in Newcastle, in what was a pre-season deal to boost spectator numbers for the Bears.
While the North Stars ended the first period leading 4-0, it was a slow start to the game.
It wasn’t until the last five minutes of the period that North Stars import Jeremy Boyer put points on the scoreboard followed by two goals by Beau Taylor and a final goal by Brian Bales.
Bears import Brady Johnston finally got a goal past North Stars goaltender Olivier Martin, which was followed by two more North Stars goals by Boyer and new player to the team, Nick Orford-Quirk.
With six minutes remaining in the second period and the score sitting at 6-1, Bears coach Steve Austin pulled their goaltender Chris Slauenwhite and put in 21-year old, Stuart Clemie.
With the North Stars large lead going into the third period, Coach Garry Doré let young Newcastle goaltender Josh Broekman play between the pipes.
Clemie held strong against the North Stars, not letting a goal in until Rob Duchemin powered a puck home.
The final five minutes ended for the Bears the same way the North Stars opened the game, with a quick four goals.
Lucian Hackett gained a quick goal, retaliated by Bales, but then the Bears really put the pressure on Broekman and managed three more goals to end the game 8-5.
Bears coach Steve Austin said “the first period killed us”.
“Once you’re behind, it is hard to fight back,” he said. “But the guys came together and got some confidence after some goals.”
Coach Doré was pleased with the North Stars performance, calling it a “great game”.
“We started strong right from the beginning,” said Dore. “We worked on our defensive zone, and with the inclusion of Dave Upton and Tuomas Takkula, they complimented the players and strengthened the team.”
Doré said Olivier had an outstanding two periods, which gave Broekman the opportunity to have some ice time.
Even though the scoreboard didn’t reflect so, Doré said Broekman played a great third period.
“We’re going to work on the areas of the game which let us down and advance on parts of the game we did well,” said Dore. “If we do that, we should be able to come up with the win against the Canberra Knights.”
Tonight the North Stars meet the Canberra Knights at the HISS from 5pm.