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Northstars Dominate in Season Opener


Newcastle Northstars started their 2022 Goodall Cup campaign with a dominant 7-4 home crowd win against the Melbourne Mustangs.

 

Newcastle Northstars forwards Mackenzie Gallagher and Daniel Berno nabbed two quick goals halfway through the first period, with Tomas Landa also finding the net to give the home team a 3-0 lead before the first intermission.

Gallagher extended the Northstars lead with another goal in the opening minutes of the second period. Strong defensive play from the Northstars allowed the team to maintain control of the game, and kept the crowd enthralled.

In the final minutes of the second period, the Mustangs added two goals through Jordan Warren and Dylan Morris with the period ending with a 4-2 score line.

Northstars’ Bert Malloy found the net 30 seconds into the final period, which was quickly answered by Melbourne’s Jesse Thompson to keep the score line within two.

Returning to the Northstars roster for 2022, Beau Taylor attacked the net with speed, and put a deflected puck behind the Mustangs goaltender. With the score line now at 6-3, the Mustangs were able to pick off an errant pass from the Northstars powerplay and sprinted up the ice to score a shorthanded goal, bringing them within 2 goals from tying the game.

The final 10 minutes of the third period saw both teams pushing hard through fatigue, each teams suffering penalties and getting opportunities. Tomas Landa capitalised on a Mustangs penalty, scoring with a power shot from the top of the faceoff circles to secure the 7-4 win for the home team.



The newly appointed Northstars Captain, Liam Manwarring, shared his experience of the first game of the 2022 season. “It’s overwhelming, I’m very honoured, it’s my home-grown club.”

“To be able to lead from the front and get the whole community involved this year for the 20th celebration is massive. I think it was positive, there’s a lot to work on and the first game is the hardest of the year. We have professional people behind the bench and all they want to do is win a cup and I really want to lead the team to win that cup this year.” Manwarring continued

Northstars head coach John Kennedy provided insight into Liam’s new leadership role. “The storyline behind Liam doesn’t get any better: a local kid born and raised in Newcastle, has moved through the club since he was young and has made his way up, passionate about the game. He does the right things all the time, he is in that position because he deserves it and he’s a leader. He’s a great communicator and everything you would want out of a great captain. We know he’s going to be here for years to come which is great for the club and great for the city”.

Kennedy then reflected on the game stating, “We’re all feeling great, it was so good to get out there after so many seasons we couldn’t play. The boys are energised, and we had a good pre-season campaign that prepared us for this weekend”

“We played as a team for the full 60 tonight, with additional minutes added to the second and third period we need the conditioning, the way you play in the first is the way you want to play in the third, and I think we showed that really well” Kennedy continued.

A milestone season for the club, and for many individual players, Kennedy shared “There’s a lot of commemorative things going on and it shows the loyalty to this club. When you play for the Northstars you know it’s a family and you want to stay and play here. Pat Nadin is another local kid that has had to work his way up and in 2019 was a key contributor to that season. To see him be able to hit 150 shows consistency and commitment to the game”.

The Northstars next home game will see them take on the Sydney Bears on Saturday 14th May.



Writer – Courtney Kynaston

Photographer – AK Hockey Shots

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