THE Newcastle North Stars have yet to win a home game this season, posting a third loss at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium against the CBR Brave on Sunday.
Newcastle's fourth loss from six games played this season followed a hearty 5-3 win against last year's Australian Ice Hockey League champions the Sydney Ice Dogs in Liverpool on Saturday.
Buoyed by Saturday's positive result, the first since Newcastle's 2-0 win against the Brave in Canberra in April, the North Stars hit the ice on Sunday with intensity, even racking up the first goal of the game to lead 1-0 into the second period. The intensity did not let up even after Canberra opened the second period with a goal.
North Star's Matt Taylor broke the 1-1 tie, giving Newcastle its second lead for the night, which was to be the last and spelt the end for the side, even with a third period to be played.
Canberra scored two more goals in the second period to lead 3-2, plus one more in the final to end the game 4-2.
Despite the loss, coach Garry Dore said it was still not the time to worry and this year was one of those tough seasons where outcomes were not predictable.
"We played pretty well against Sydney on Saturday and went out hard [on Sunday] and played really well," Dore said.
"Canberra are a stronger team than we have faced in the past, not that we played badly. We had a few lapses, which they took advantage of. We lost a player and penalties really disjointed the game.
The North Stars will travel to South Australia to face the Adelaide Adrenaline twice this weekend.
■ The Star has a family pass to give away to the next home game on May 24. For your chance to win phone 1900 956 499 and leave your name and contact details. Calls cost 55 cents including GST and winners will be notified by telephone. Entries close Monday, May 17, at noon. LTPM/12/00962