It’s a continuing nightmare for Newcastle coach Garry Doré, but his North Stars have scored first just 6 out of 16 games this season. Thankfully for the well-being of his ticker, they have won 12 out of these 16 games.
The North Stars are quite comfortable this season coming home with a wet sail in the third period. None of these finishes were as dramatic as the game against the Melbourne Ice on the 1st of June, where the Newcastle came back from 0-3 down to win 4-3, all goals in the last 23 minutes of the 50 minute game.
It happened again in Adelaide in their last round. In both the Saturday and Sunday game the Adrenaline scored first, but in both games the North Stars ran down the lead to force the game into overtime. The combination of shooters Pier Cotnoir and Dominic Osman and goalie Olivier Martin saw them through both games with two points each.
The come-from-behind pattern is both a blessing and a worry for Doré. Being able to win from behind is confidence-building for a team, and as the North Stars will remember from the 2010 AIHL Semi Final (down 3-0 in the first few minutes versus the Adrenaline); the confidence to win from behind can be invaluable in a high-pressure games.
The worry for the North Stars is, of course, that giving away early goals and having slow starts to games gives the opposition teams a great chance to win. This happened against the Ice Dogs, Adrenaline and earlier in the season, the Canberra Knights and the Sydney Bears.
All four of the North Stars losses have effectively been 1-goal losses (recent 5-3 loss against Adrenaline was due to an empty-net goal with 2 seconds remaining in the game). Such tight results in the loss column is another boost for the Newcastle team; they’ve been close to winning every game they’ve played this season.
As a counter-point, the North Stars have won every game where they scored first this season.
The North Stars have regularly been referred to as “consistent” in 2013. Perhaps it’s their losses, or their many near-losses, that justifies that argument as much as their wins from out in front.