THE Goodall Cup has slipped the Newcastle North Stars' grasp for the fourth year in a row.
It went to the Sydney Ice Dogs following the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) grand-final last Sunday.
It was only fitting the Newcastle North Stars and Sydney Ice Dogs ended the 2013 AIHL season, having played the opening game on April 20.
Both teams entered Sunday's grand-final following decisive semi-final wins the day before.
The Ice Dogs defeated the Melbourne Ice, consecutive champions three years running, 4-2.
The North Stars proved too good for the Perth Thunder on Saturday, defeating the side 6-3.
Import Pier-Olivier Cotnoir was the stand out in the semi-final game, producing three of the North Stars goals on the night.
The remaining three were scored by AIHL leading goal scorer Jeff Martens, Canadian import Dominic Osman and Central Coast player Beau Taylor.
Newcastle coach Garry Doré wasn't the only one feeling confident heading into the grand-final, believing this year's team was the one to "get the job done".
"This [year's] team is up there with the best we've had in 11 years," he said.
While Doré took nothing away from the Ice Dogs' win, with the side searching for a championship for nine years having last won against the North Stars in 2004, he said officiating hindered the flow of the game and Newcastle's game plan.
"The way certain penalties were called, to both our advantage and disadvantage, disrupted the flow of the game," Doré said.
"For us to play the best we potentially can, we needed the flow. We were relying on three units playing regularly but with the officiating it just disrupted the plan and we had to go with different plays."
Osman was the North Stars lone goal scorer in the grand-final game.
The Ice Dogs led 6-1 with five minutes remaining. However, Newcastle shortened the gap to end it 6-3.
Doré said he was proud of the team and they will bounce back next year for another run at the Goodall Cup.
Martens, who ended his season with 67 points after scoring 31 goals and making 36 assists from 28 games, took out the AIHL's most valuable player award.