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North Stars First to Finals
Sunday, July 29, 2012 - Submitted by Peter Lambert
The Proski Newcastle North Stars became the first team in the AIHL to secure a finals place after defeating the Canberra Knights 9-1 in their Sunday night game.

Their second win of the weekend – on Saturday night defeating the Adelaide Adrenaline 5-2 – elevated Newcastle to 42 competition points, putting them out of reach of the Sydney Bears and Canberra Knights in the Bauer Conference.

The North Stars have yet to clinch the conference champions title, with the Sydney Ice Dogs still able to reach a potential maximum of 48 points.

In the Easton conference the Melbourne Ice have been patchy of late, losing two games in the last three rounds, but are still strongly positioned to win the Easton Conference.

Saturday's game may have been an AIHL semi-final preview, with the Adrenaline currently best-placed to take second position in the Easton Conference, although recent form from both the Thunder and Blue Tongues may threaten their place.

Assuming the Melbourne Ice carry their form through to win the Easton Conference, they will play either the Sydney Bears or Ice Dogs.

Both of Newcastle’s games on the weekend saw them come out the gate quick and fast and secure a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period.

In their game against the Adrenaline, coach Garry Doré said the North Stars came out flying and put pressure on the Adrenaline.

The pressure built until the cracks started showing and penalties were awarded for the frustrated Adelaide player confrontations that came up more frequently from the second half of the second period to the end of the game.

However, the North Stars refocused in the third period and took advantage of their opportunities with some ‘unusual goals’ despite the game becoming increasingly physical.

Sunday’s 9-1 win for the North Stars was built off a 3-0 first period, with the Knights missing out on a goal against Newcastle backup Josh Broekman, when the Newcastle defence pulled the puck off the goal line before it could cross.

From then on though, it was the North Stars who had the majority of possession and puck control.

The Knights used their high levels of fitness to provide some strong counter-attack moments, especially Nick Polaski, who stood out amongst the Knights players as a leader and difference maker in both directions.

The second period was slowed down a little with penalties but the North Stars still managed two more goals, ending the period up 5-0.

The chances of a shutout for Broekman were shattered early in the third period, but North Stars replied with four goals in the third and final period for a 9-1 win.


Recent Headlines
(7/29/2016) Preview: Brave @ Bears – July 31, 2016
(7/29/2016) Preview: Mustangs @ Adrenaline – July 30 & 31, 2016
(7/29/2016) Preview: Ice Dogs @ Thunder – July 30 & 31, 2016
(7/29/2016) Preview: Bears @ North Stars – July 30, 2016
(7/27/2016) Will the Flow Go?: James Byers
(7/25/2016) Ice Dogs return to winner’s circle over Thunder
(7/25/2016) Brave sweep injury ravaged Adrenaline
(7/25/2016) Ice slide to late win over Mustangs
(7/24/2016) Thunder survive late Bears fightback
(7/24/2016) Brave stand tall in emotional win over Adrenaline
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STANDINGS
TEAM GP W L D OW OL TP
Ice 22 15 1 0 3 3 54
North Stars 24 13 7 0 1 3 44
Thunder 21 11 6 0 3 1 40
Brave 22 12 7 0 1 2 40
Mustangs 22 9 12 0 1 0 29
Bears 22 4 10 0 5 3 25
Adrenaline 21 4 13 0 1 3 17
Ice Dogs 22 4 16 0 1 1 15
SCORING LEADERS GOALIE LEADERS
PLAYER GP G A PTS
C McLaughlin (NNS) 24 32 22 54
M Guertin (CB) 16 16 27 43
J Baclig (MI) 22 19 22 41
C Kubara (CB) 22 13 27 40
W Darge (AA) 21 16 21 37
B Breault (PT) 21 18 17 35
S Swiston (NNS) 20 14 20 34
M Dorr (PT) 21 13 21 34
SCORING LEADERS GOALIE LEADERS
GOALIE GP W GAA SV%
T Davenport (MI) 18 16 1.73 .931
D Davis (NNS) 22 13 2.47 .909
T Heemskerk (PT) 21 14 2.63 .925
F Carson (MM) 17 7 3.14 .888
A Kimlin (SB) 18 7 3.15 .908
A Tetreault (CB) 8 4 3.70 .886
A Toivonen (CB) 18 9 3.83 .887
J Downie (SB) 5 2 3.90 .869
THE PRODUCTION LINE
Thomas Heemskerk
THOMAS HEEMSKERK
10 wins, 2.65 GAA and 0.930 SV% through 14 AIHL games.
Player Profile »
Michael Dorr
MICHAEL DORR
7 goals and 13 assists in 14 AIHL games played.
Player Profile »
Ben Breault
BEN BREAULT
13 goals and 10 assists in first 14 AIHL games.
Player Profile »
EMERGING STARS
Julian Fodor
JULIAN FODOR
15 year old Queensland forward. 20 goals, 8 assists in 15 senior games.
Matthew de Beer
MATTHEW DE BEER
18 year old forward for Brisbane Blitz. 2 goals, 2 assists in 5 AJIHL games.
Byron Tschuma
BYRON TSCHUMA
17 year old forward for Melbourne Whalers. 10 goals, 3 assists in 10 AJIHL games.
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HEADLINES
Preview: Brave @ Bears – July 31, 201..
Preview: Mustangs @ Adrenaline – July..
Preview: Ice Dogs @ Thunder – July 30..
Preview: Bears @ North Stars – July 3..
Will the Flow Go?: James Byers
Ice Dogs return to winner’s circle ov..
Brave sweep injury ravaged Adrenaline
Ice slide to late win over Mustangs
Thunder survive late Bears fightback
Brave stand tall in emotional win ove..
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