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Mixed Results for Northstars with Home & Away Games

The Northstars had a crucial same-conference win on Saturday night, winning 4-2 against the Brave in front of a capacity crowd. Then, on Sunday night, they travelled down to Sydney to face the Sydney Bears, losing 1-6.


Saturday night was exciting. Alexander Yuill opened the scoring. Kai Miettinen scored for Canberra Brave, but Hayden Klugerman's first AIHL career goal put the home team ahead at the first intermission.

Daniel Berno scored the sole goal of the second period, extending the home team's lead to 3-1.

This didn’t stop the crowd from getting behind their team with regular chants and cheers to keep the atmosphere intense.

The third period was a thrilling display of end-to-end hockey, with both teams getting opportunities to score and a number of penalties both ways. It would be the Northstar's Daniel Berno who would secure the final goal of the game, putting the home team ahead 4-1 with his short-handed empty net goal, sparking excitement and getting the crowd on their feet once again.

Canberra Brave’s Casey Kubara scored in the final 30 seconds of the game giving the visitors their second goal of the game.

“Both sides were not at 100% health, and this was something we talked about as a group. We were good systematically, and we were attentive to our structure and didn’t give up odd man rushes. That’s how you win hockey games. As the season moves on, we have to be detailed, and we were tonight,” said Head Coach Kevin Noble.

“Tonight, we had really good structure, and we have played that way for the last couple of weeks. I think we’re finding a system that we can play, and that’s a credit to our coaches for setting the standard. We’ve bought into that, and that’s why we’re rolling again, because all our guys are playing, and they’re playing with confidence,” added Captain Liam Manwarring, highlighting the team's unity and shared commitment.

Sunday night, Francis Drolet opened the scoring for the Northstars, who made the road trip down to Sydney. This would be their lone goal of the game. Despite the setback, Newcastle went to the first break with a 1-0 lead, showing their resilience. But with four unanswered goals in the second period scored by Sydney Bears’ Christopher Eaden (2) Tyerell Clare and Brody Lindal, the Northstars fell behind 4-1 going into the second break.

The third period saw the Northstars unable to capitalise on their opportunities, with another two goals scored by the Sydney Bears’ Ryan Annesley and Kenshin Hayashi to secure the win for the home team 1-6 against the visiting Newcastle team.

“It’s a long hockey season, it’s not our best game, and tonight we weren’t ready to go on a back-to-back for one of our first double headers in a while,” said Kevin.

“We weren’t mentally or physically ready to play at the level we needed to, for 60 minutes.”

“Our penalty kill is still strong, and we weren’t with it physically or mentally tonight for what we needed to do. It’s a good league whether you’re playing the Bears, Central Coast, or Brisbane. They’re all good teams, and we have to be ready to go, and we weren’t tonight.”

“One loss or one win doesn’t change what you’re trying to do for the end result. That goal is to get to Melbourne. To be the first seed in our conference and it’s pretty simple.”

“We will get back to work this week; it's just one loss. It wasn’t a good night for us, but we have more time to go. Nobody said you weren’t going to lose a hockey game, and quite frankly, it's good for us to have some adversity. The truth is, we get up tomorrow morning, and we go back to work. Regardless of the win or loss, you come back and do it again.”

Northstars return home with 3 points out of the weekend and look ahead now to their trip to Perth where they will play the Perth Thunder on the 1 and 2 June. Northstars will return to Newcastle on Saturday, 8 June, vs Melbourne Ice and on Sunday, June 9, vs Perth Thunder.


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