THE Newcastle North Stars continued their poor form at home last weekend with their sixth loss from eight games at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium.
Newcastle lost 6-2 to a desperate Adelaide Adrenaline, who went on to win again on Sunday against the Sydney Ice Dogs.
The loss undid some of Newcastle's gain earlier in June when Brian Bales return brought the North Stars into fourth position in the Australian Ice Hockey League.
Despite some dominant periods of play from the North Stars, they were again out-foxed by a goalie.
Adelaide's British import, Michael Will, kept the North Stars scoreless early in the game, though they held most of the possession and chances.
After a penalty against Newcastle that led to an Adelaide goal, the North Stars struggled to bring the puck inside the Adelaide defence in a game that Adrenaline coach Ryan O'Handley described as "our best game of the year".
The North Stars were behind 4-0 before local rookie Hayden Sheard scored for Newcastle to bring some life to the home crowd, late in the second period, ending with a 4-1 Adelaide lead.
Bales potted a shot above Mike Will's pad for Newcastle's second goal in the final period, but further mistakes led to more goals against the North Stars.
Coach Garry Dore said he was feeling the pressure as he dealt with player availability problems.
"It was a game of mistakes, and they made few mistakes and capitalised on ours. We have Beau Taylor, Matt Taylor and Adam Geric returning to the team soon, but before then we have a very tough weekend away in Perth against the Thunder," he said.