A SENSE of déjà vu filled the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Saturday night when for a second week the Newcastle North Stars were defeated at home, 4-0.
The form slump so early into the Australian Ice Hockey League season is uncharacteristic for the North Stars.
Almost as uncommon as two back-to-back, 4-0 losses.
However, Newcastle coach Garry Dore was confident the North Stars would bounce back in Sydney on Saturday when they faced the Sydney Bears.
“It’s only early in the season. You need time for your players to click and start capitalising on those scoring opportunities,” Dore said.
Both the North Stars and Adrenaline started strongly in Saturday’s game.
With one minute remaining in the first period the Adrenaline’s Nick Clark opened the scoring.
Two more goals in the second period from Adelaide’s David Manning and Mans Lindgren were overshadowed by a scuffle that broke out in the Adrenaline’s goalmouth with just under five minutes remaining.
The incident saw Newcastle’s Nick Quirk and Adam Geric joined by three Adelaide players, including goaltender Peter King, which was served by Aaron Widger, in the penalty box.
Each were given 10-minute penalties for misconduct.
A more fired up North Stars resumed play after penalties were delivered, and were more competitive in the third period.
However, that competitiveness did not translate into goals and following one more from the Adrenaline, an empty net goal after Newcastle netminder Harrison May was pulled for an extra forward, the game ended 4-0 to the visitors.
The North Stars will travel to the Sydney Ice Arena on Saturday to face the Bears.