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A tough weekend for Newcastle Northstars

Image: Jess Fuller

The Northstars were defeated 6-5 in overtime on Saturday night by defending champions, the Melbourne Mustangs, and 9-2 on Sunday night by the Sydney Bears.


Goals from rookie Maliq West and Import Aiden Wagner set the Northstars ahead, but late in the period, Mustangs Dean Clomp would close the gap going into the break.


Northstars Daniel Berno started the second-period scoring, giving the home team a 3-1 lead, but Melbourne’s Scott Timmins and Vladislav Rachinsky combined to give the Mustangs a 3-5 lead over the home team going into the second break.


Veteran Beau Taylor on his 150th AIHL game scored the Northstars 4th goal, and import Aiden Wagner equalised the game with two unanswered goals. Moving into overtime, it was Melbourne’s Vladislav Rachinsky that would seal game-winning goal for the visitors.


On Saturday Night captain Liam Manwarring shared, “I think it takes a lot of grit to win the momentum back and we were flying in the first 15 minutes of the third period. But we did that to ourselves, we put ourselves in a spot to fight back again and we need to start playing the game a little bit smarter to get up on teams like we were and to hold onto our lead.”


“All our guys can play and are at the skill level to play in this league,” Manwarring continued, “but no matter what, it comes back to the mental game and the science behind hockey and remembering what we have practiced all week.”


Head Coach Kevin Noble shared, “First period was a good start we played with detail, purpose and stuck to the game plan and played with urgency. Second period again was an awful period for us.”


“As a collective whole and individually we had some key mistakes, lack of situational awareness, mental mistakes and careless hockey. Then the third period we put ourselves in a position where we have to come back and tie a game that we didn’t need to be in. It was a good period but the damage was done in the second.”


Image: Jamison O'Malley

“We had a lot more shots on to them than we had received, their guy made a lot of big saves and did his job,” Noble continued, “Charlie, like the rest of the team, has to find a way to be better in the second period. We have to coach better as well in that time, and we have to play better.”


On Sunday night the visiting Sydney bears opened the scoring with goals from Tomas Landa and Lucas Herrmann. It was a quiet and sombre crowd early this game. Before the break import Matthieu Desautels scored his first AIHL goal to take us to the break with the score 1-2.


In period two the Bears opened the scoring with Brody Lindal extending their lead, and the lone goal for the Northstars was scored by Captain Liam Manwarring. The Mustangs would then go on to score 6 unanswered goals from Adam Kadlec (4), Lucas Herrmann and Kenshin Hayashi to win 2-9.


Head coach Kevin Noble shared on Sunday night, “We’ve got to coach better, play better, practice better and we’ve got to do a lot of things better this week.”


“We live in a world of instant gratification, and we played like a team tonight that had to make a big play on every shift. We weren’t happy playing a boring game, when you’re generating a lot of offense as we did for large stretches again. Having to make bigger, spectacular play that ends up giving a free chance, free break, high danger, slot shot the other way has to stop.”


Captain Liam Manwarring shared, “It’s a bit of a reality check for us, obviously we started off the season well and had a good record but in this league you can’t win them all and we are going to lose down the stretch.”


“It’s a long game and you can’t go toe-to-toe with a team like that, back and forth and turn the puck over and expect every bounce to go your way, and the bounces didn’t go our way tonight. It doesn’t matter, it’s about us and we’ve got to find a way.”


The Northstars are on the road next weekend and will head down the M1 to Macquarie Ice Arena to face the Sydney Ice Dogs on Saturday 11th May.

Image: Jess Fuller

Images: Jamison O'malley & Jess Fuller




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