Newcastle North Stars miss out on the finals in their "worst season ever"

North Stars' Matt Wetini shoots his team's only goal against the Melbourne Mustangs. Picture: Mark Bradford

North Stars' Matt Wetini shoots his team's only goal against the Melbourne Mustangs. Picture: Mark Bradford

THE Newcastle North Stars have vowed to return to the top of the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) ladder in 2015 after their "worst season ever" this year.

At Hunter Ice Skating Stadium last Saturday the North Stars played their final game of the 2014 AIHL season.

They lost 4-1 to the Melbourne Mustangs with Matt Wetini scoring Newcastle's lone goal in the second period.

North Stars general manager and coach Garry Dore admitted this year had been the worst since the organisation entered the AIHL in 2002.

Until this year, the North Stars have not missed a final since 2003, when the AIHL finals were introduced.

Dore signalled he may not return as coach in 2015.

He held the coach's role for three years after taking it on from Don Champagne at the end of the 2011 season, saying it was never to be permanent.

However, Dore said he would only relinquish the role to a suitable candidate.

Before the game on Saturday, Newcastle player Beau Taylor sat centre ice to have his hair cut off for charity. He'd been growing it for two years.

More than $950 was raised and will be donated to John Hunter Hospital to coincide with the North Stars' annual toy drive.

Additionally, Taylor has raised $1600 for Sydney Children's Hospital.

His hair will be donated to Locks of Love, an organisation that creates wigs for people suffering permanent hair loss.

The North Stars annual presentation night will be held tonight.

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