Monthly Archives: May 2013

Newcastle V Adelaide

Adrenaline See Stars

In a high scoring, high intensity battle, the Newcastle North Stars ran out 7-4 winners over the Adelaide Adrenaline.  Craig Tonks reports.

Photo :: Debra Jean Photography

Photo :: Debra Jean Photography

The game between the Newcastle North Stars was always going to be a close game. Throughout the week injuries took it’s toll on the Adelaide line-up which resulted in Wehebe DargeBritt andTravis Ouellette not making the trip east. A number of North Stars were also under an injury cloud however two competent teams took the ice.

From the outset, both teams hit the ice in a fast contest. Goal tenders Olivier Martin and Rick Parry both had their work cut out for them early but Adelaide made the most of an early opportunity Josef Rezek combined with Charlie Huber and David Manning to silence the home crowd and give Adelaide a 1-0 lead.

The North Stars answered not long after when David Upton levelled the scores before Pier-Olivier Cotnoir slotted the puck past Parry to put North Stars ahead, when he combined with Beau Taylorto end the first period at 1-0.

The second period saw the tempo rising with the pace of the game and the skating skill of some our finest AIHL players on display. Both sides were delivering physical checks along the boards and the  battle between the first lines was fascinating for the crowd to watch. In a few cases more players ended up crashing the net than actual pucks.

Goals to David Manning and David Huxley brought Adelaide back into the game however it was met with goals from Dominic Osman and Beau Taylor to give Newcastle a 4-3 lead at the end of second period. The crowd could sense tension rising with a number of small scuffles within minutes around the goal area, which was possibly a result of the competitive nature of the two teams.

The third period opened with Beau Taylor scoring for the North Stars just 12 seconds into the period. Taylor appears to be finding his feet again in the AIHL after his return from a stint in Canadian College hockey.

With 17.30 remaining in the period, Jeff Martens added to his rising AIHL goal tally to give the North Stars a 5-3 lead when he combined with Pier-Olivier Cotnoir, a combination that is starting to gel.

The Adrenaline never took a backward step and some good plays by Nick Clark coming out of Adelaide’s own zone saw the North Stars defence scrambling to keep them out. At 10.45 remaining in the match Luc Blain passed the puck across the goal face to a waiting Greg Oddy who slipped it behind Olivier Martin to bring the score back to 6-4.

Any thoughts of an Adelaide come back were thwarted with 2.33 minutes remaining when Dominic Osman hit the match winner for the North Stars, leaving Adelaide with a pending loss.

Although a comeback may have been off the cards, anyone who thought the game was over at this point was mistaken. With only 1.07 remaining in the game, Hamish Powell collided heavily with Charlie Huber, the impact of the collision sending Huber crashing to the ice. The impact resulted in Huber laying motionless on the ice and a series of scuffles breaking out.

When play resumed tempers were still high and the ensuing face-off saw several players exchanging pleasantries, including Sean Greer intent on taking his frustration out on Shai Rabinowitz. Upon a return check into the boards by Rabinowitz, Greer reacted angrily and saw out the game with a match penalty.

In a game that great hockey was overshadowed by high emotion and controversy of ‘that’ hit, the North Stars ran out winners 7-4.

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Unsung Hero – Leanne Dore

When you think of people behind the scenes of an ice hockey team, the Team Manager, Equipment Manager, Physio and Medic come to mind. But, sometimes there is another important role, with the players’ wellbeing off the ice in mind.The Newcastle North Stars have all of those major roles covered yet there is a glue that bonds all of these together- there for players who are often a long way from home and away from family and friends. She always has a smile on her face and is affectionately known as the “Aussie Mum”.Leanne Doré, wife of the Newcastle North Stars General Manager, Garry Doré, has been around hockey for 30 years.

Every year a new batch of imports lands in Australia keen to taste the Australian way of life and play ice hockey in a foreign land. Leanne and Garry Doré have successfully created a family atmosphere at the North Stars and the players feel like they have been taken in by a close knit family.

This is something that can’t be faked or created, a sentiment shared by Ray Sheffield who has seen firsthand the warmness that is displayed by Leanne.
“I can honestly say she is one of the nicest and warmest people you will ever meet. From the first day I arrived here in Newcastle I was made at home. Even though I have my own family here now, I still see what they do for the guys and that’s pretty amazing”.

Former players always sing the praises of the league and how the Newcastle organisation is very unique, one which Pier-Olivier Cotnoir sums up.

“Leanne makes us welcome. She will take us where we need to be, prepares home cooked meals, and even though I am 2000km away from my family, we are welcomed into their family. In speaking to Rob Lawrance, he couldn’t say enough about the league and the North Stars family so it made my decision easy”.

Sentiments are very similar from former North Star, Peter Cartwright. “Leanne was indeed my overseas mum. She takes you in from the second you arrive until the day you leave. She is truly a genuine person that loves sport and helping others. She does everything she can for you and asks nothing in return. I loved Gary and Leanne’s BBQs which were a highlight of my trip down under. I can honestly say I miss them both”.

The motherly love that is displayed by Leanne doesn’t stop with the North Stars players. In the 2012 season, the Melbourne Ice’s Jason Baclig was hospitalised after the clash against the North Stars. Without thought, the Doré’s made sure Jason was not alone and even had his girlfriend stay at their house.

It doesn’t matter what sport we play or barrack for, it’s not the bricks and mortar that make a club. It’s people like Leanne Doré. During hockey season, from Thursday to Sunday, she lives and breathes hockey. I’m sure Leanne wouldn’t have it any other way.

Craig is a Newcastle-based writer for Hewitt Sports Network. You can follow Craig on Twitter @Cray70.