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
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 Darge, Britt 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.