A CLOSELY split result on a road trip to South Australia last weekend has buoyed the Newcastle North Stars following its rocky start to the season.
The North Stars dominated hosts the Adelaide Adrenaline on Saturday, winning its first game of the weekend convincingly 5-3.
However, on Sunday, the Adrenaline, faced with double defeat at home, fought to tail the North Stars goal for goal and forced the game to a shoot-out.
After four shots from each team it was the Adrenaline who came out victorious, sealing the game 3-2.
North Stars coach Garry Dore said it was a tough weekend but Newcastle played "good hockey".
"Bussing and flying on top of two big games - it's tough," Dore said.
"But to come out with more points than them [Adrenaline], that's a good result."
It was Newcastle who drew first blood in Saturday's game, with Adam Geric putting the first point on the scoreboard in the second period.
The Adrenaline answered with two goals of their own, but one more from Newcastle import Cody Danberg tied the game up 2-2 headed into the third, final and fiery period.
The North Stars were able to break ahead and score three goals, two unanswered, to win 5-3.
"We had some great opportunities in the third period on Saturday night, which we took advantage of," Dore said.
"We played just as well Sunday, but the Adrenaline played well too.
"On Sunday, we just couldn't keep the lead."
It was a tight game on Sunday with the North Stars leading 1-0 at the end of the first period, answered with a lone Adrenaline goal in the second.
The Adrenaline were able to tie the game up 2-2 to force it to a shootout.
A shot by Geric found its mark behind the Adrenaline's goaltender, but not for the remaining three Newcastle players.
Three from four Adrenaline players were able to find their mark behind Newcastle's import goaltender Harrison May.
The North Stars returned to Newcastle with four points from the weekend and are now sitting sixth in the leader table.
On Saturday the North Stars face the CBR Brave.