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Newcastle claims its fifth Goodall Cup

03 Sep 2015

Newcastle claims its fifth Goodall Cup Image

By Andrew McMurtry

The Newcastle North Stars have claimed their fifth Goodall Cup Championship with a dramatic overtime penalty shot win over the Melbourne Ice at the Icehouse.

The win broke a seven-year hoodoo for the North Stars when Brian Bales scored a penalty goal just over two minutes into sudden death overtime.

The two-all score at the end of three periods of hockey showed just how close the teams were.

Deemed to have not had any defencemen in front of him Bales was tripped from behind, allowing him the opportunity to slot the game-winning goal to the jubilation of the vocal North Stars contingent of fans.

The final was intense from the outset with plenty of chances on the net, great defence and incredible goaltending, but it was proving difficult to register goals.

This was until, as has happened so many times this year, the puck landed in front of league top scorer Geordie Wudrick who fired the North Stars into the lead with his 48th goal of the season.

The back and forth action was bound to see someone break through eventually, and it was Melbourne who were able to find a chink in the North Stars’ armour.

Following a defensive mistake from the North Stars, the puck fell to Tommy Powell who made no mistake in rifling home a huge slap shot to level the scores late in the first period.

An arm wrestle of a game was developing with plenty of great opportunities but no goals in a tremendous goaltending duel between the North Stars’ Dayne Davis and the previously unbeaten Alex Leclerc from the Melbourne Ice.

Much of the third was intense action but it took a rifle of a shot from North Stars defenceman Jan Safar to break the deadlock with just under two minutes remaining.

The Ice, desperate not to lose a second straight decider, pushed hard, pulling Leclerc despite being a man down with Lliam Webster in the box.

However, the move worked with Mitch Humphries tying the game with just 31 seconds to go and sending the game to overtime.

In the first overtime grand final since 2009, Bales deked before sweeping the game and Goodall Cup winning goal and ending a seven-year drought for the Novocastrians.

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