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Northstars numb Adrenaline in ice hockey thriller

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A Riley Klugerman goal at the death enabled the Newcastle Northstars to continue its winning streak in the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) at the weekend.

In front of a big home crowd at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Sunday 4 June, the local outfit pipped the Adelaide Adrenaline 6-5 to register its fifth victory on the trot.

But, the Northstars did it the hard way.

Zane Jones celebrates his goal at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium. Photo: Jess Fuller

Adelaide led 1-0 at the end of the first term, courtesy of Daniel Chen.

The visitors went ahead in the second period, when Brett Thompson scored.

However, Newcastle responded through Zane Jones to trail 2-1.

Goals to Daniel O’Handley (Adrenaline) and Daniel Berno (Northstars) saw the sides go to the break at 3-2.

Adelaide then surged to a 5-3 margin, via Thompson and Zach Boyle, while Francis Drolet kept the hosts in the fixture.

Klugerman and Josh Adkins levelled things up at 5-all, before the former snatched the match-winner in the final minute.

A pumped Daniel Berno fires up the Newcastle Northstars crowd. Photo: Jess Fuller

Newcastle head coach Kevin Noble was relieved to snare the competition points.

“Our penalty kill was strong with the Adrenaline unable to capitalise on any powerplay opportunities,” he said.

“It was one of the areas we were good at.

“But, we need a lot better from the guys.

“We didn’t play up to the standard of our players that we have in that room, so we were lucky to win.

“It’s on the boys to be consistent and be their best every night… and we were inconsistent in our game.

“We have really struggled to put together 60 minutes, however we were fortunate [tonight].

“A win is a win, but how we got it needs to be better.

“We can live with losing if we play the right way and leave it all on the line.

“However, a lot of bad habits showed and we will return on Tuesday and work on all of it.”

Assistant captain Pat Nadin agreed.

“We had a bit of a slow start and we can take away a few things from that game,” he said.

“We’ll come back and work at training to reset before the challenge of next weekend.

“In regards to our successful penalty kills, that is something we can take away as a win.

“We have a world-class centre man in Francis (Drolet) out there, which makes it much easier.

“And, it’s the little things from there that we can build off.” 

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