Losses spur on North Stars

THE Newcastle North Stars had a lot riding on last weekend's games against the Canberra Knights and Sydney Bears, producing the sought-after wins that escaped them in their last encounters.

Four weeks earlier, the North Stars admitted they underestimated the two lower-ranked teams when lining up against them and suffered two defeats in the one weekend.

"We had no idea that would happen," North Stars coach Garry Dore said.

"We were so disappointed losing to these two teams four weeks ago, I think all of us told ourselves it would never happen again."

That mentality spurred on the team all week in the lead-up to the games where they first travelled to Canberra to face the Knights then home on Sunday to play the Bears.

The North Stars stuck it to the Knights on Saturday, putting in an emphatic display of skill to win the game 9-1.

"We absolutely dominated," Dore said.

At home on Sunday night, both teams hit the ice full of energy, going hard up and down the rink for the first 15 minutes with no goals yielded.

It wasn't until the second period that the Bears gained two quick goals to lead the game until Tim Stanger, with help from Nick Quirk, cut it in half to see the score at 2-1 going into the final 20 minutes.

The North Stars kicked it into high gear in the third period gaining three more goals to take out the game 4-2.

Dore said the North Stars' commitment to the final 20 minutes of the game was what won it for them.

This weekend, the North Stars face the Sydney Ice Dogs twice.

First in Liverpool on Saturday then home at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Sunday.

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