A TURNING of the tide could be on the cards for the Newcastle North Stars ice hockey team if it can keep the momentum it gathered in Sydney on Sunday into its next four home games.
The 4-1 win against the Sydney Bears was crucial for the North Stars, which had fallen dangerously close to the bottom of the Australian Ice Hockey League standings.
At the Sydney Ice Arena the North Stars were boosted by the return of 2009 to 2012 gun import Brian Bales, originally from Alaska.
Bales, who received his permanent residency last Tuesday, will feature on the North Stars team for the rest of the season as an Australian player.
"He's back to play," North Stars coach Garry Dore said.
"He's certainly going to strengthen us, help us develop a strong second unit.
"Bales is one of the best hockey players to come to this country."
Dore said the game in Sydney was "good" despite both the Bears and North Stars missing players.
By the end of the first period the North Stars were leading 2-0 following goals by Chris Wilson and John F. Kennedy jr.
A decision was expected this week on when the North Stars' postponed game with the Sydney Ice Dogs will be played.
The North Stars will face the Melbourne Mustangs this Saturday.
■ The Star has a family pass (four tickets) to the home game against Melbourne Ice on Saturday June 14 to give away. For your chance to win phone 1900 915 332 and leave your name and contact details. Calls cost 55¢. LTPM/12/00962