Newcastle North Stars play hard for a shot at the finals

LAST GASP: Newcastle North Stars' Chris Wilson shoots a game-winning goal against Perth Thunder on Saturday to keep the team's finals hopes alive.

LAST GASP: Newcastle North Stars' Chris Wilson shoots a game-winning goal against Perth Thunder on Saturday to keep the team's finals hopes alive.

THE Newcastle North Stars remain in contention for a finals berth after favourable outcomes across the Australian Ice Hockey League last weekend.

On Saturday, the Melbourne Mustangs were confirmed as the first AIHL team to secure a finals spot.

The CBR Brave were also confirmed a place in the Melbourne finals - a first for Canberra.

The North Stars, sitting sixth on the league's ladder, have their sights firmly fixed on one of the two remaining spots.

And after winning both games in a double header at Warners Bay last weekend against Perth Thunder and Sydney Bears, plus losses by Adelaide Adrenaline and Sydney Ice Dogs, the North Stars could still claim a spot in the top four.

Spectators were treated to playoff hockey at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on the weekend.

The North Stars' game against the Thunder on Saturday was intense and the 5-4 result came down to the final seven seconds.

With one minute left in the game, the Thunder scored to tie the North Stars at 4-all. The North Stars had to win to stay in finals contention.

With seven seconds remaining, Chris Wilson found a hole in the Thunder's defence and delivered the game-winning goal.

Sunday's game against the Bears was another tough and tight battle, but won 6-2 by the North Stars.

Wilson and Beau Taylor each produced hat-tricks during the weekend, with import Cody Danberg also scoring three goals.

The North Stars hit the road to Melbourne this weekend to face the Mustangs and Ice.

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