A Daniel Berno double enabled the Newcastle Northstars to register back-to-back victories in the Australian Ice Hockey League at the weekend.
Fresh from crushing the Central Coast Rhinos 13-3 in the previous round, the Kevin Noble-coached outfit accounted for the Perth Thunder 4-2 at the Perth Ice Arena on Saturday.
But, it started shakily for the visitors.
The Thunder posted the opening two goals, to Riley Langille and Conner Jean, to lead 2-0 at the end of the first period.
However, Josh Adkins and Ethan Hawes combined to set up Berno in the second term, narrowing the margin at 2-1.
The Northstars then clicked into gear, piling on another three goals, to steal the win 4-2.
Berno was the beneficiary, along with Matthew Price and Hawes.
“Winning an away game when you travel is always a good feeling,” Noble said.
“On the road, and especially in Perth, you want to come away with something to show for it.
“I’m so happy with the three points.
“There are some things to clean-up but it was a very gutsy effort by the guys from top to bottom.
“In the first 20 minutes, we took our time trying to find our way into the match.
“However, once we hit that point, we were able to increase our physicality, intensity and up the urgency.
“The last 40 minutes was the best effort of the season so far with the limited roster we had.”
The Northstars now face the Rhinos at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium, Warners Bay, on Saturday 20 May from 5pm.
“Hopefully, we can get some more of our guys healthy and get some rest,” Noble said.
“It’s been a big weekend.
“We have to go back to work and find a way to be consistent for the full 60 minutes… and stick to our game plan for that time.
“I think the best takeaway is that the level we had to play to get ourselves back in the fixture and the exhaustion felt by the boys after the match.
“Playing at that pace really shows us where and how we have to be successful every night.”
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