North Stars ice Sydney in final period to go top

THE Newcastle North Stars moved to the lead of the Australian Ice Hockey League’s Bauer Conference last night after coming from behind to win 7-4 in a tense battle against the Sydney Bears.

The Bears led 4-3 going into the final period after almost self-imploding through ill-discipline during the opening stanza, where they had three players sent to the penalty box and their leading goaltender Chris Slauenwhite ejected for hitting the puck at a referee.

For more pictures of the game, click on the image below.

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With seven minutes remaining the Bears still held the lead before Canadian import Jeremy Boyer scored twice to spark the sold-out crowd at the Hunter Ice Stadium.

The victory was put beyond doubt when Central Coast-bred forward Beau Taylor cracked a slap shot from 10 metres into the top of the net.

It was Taylor’s second of the night and followed his hat-trick in the 6-3 win over the Sydney Ice Dogs at Liverpool on Saturday.

Veteran defender Rob Starke scored the final goal with 22 seconds left when he took a shot from 30 metres out after the Bears pulled their goalie.

For Taylor the five-goal weekend marked another quality performance from the 21-year-old since he returned the Swan Valley Stampeders under-21 team in Manitoba, Canada.

After eight games Taylor is the leading goal-scorer in the league with 14, already surpassing his effort of seven from 22 matches last season.

‘‘I’ve got some good players like Brian Bales giving me the puck and I’m getting a good handle on it right now and my stick is hot, so I’ve got to keep it going,’’ Taylor said.

‘‘I’m a year older and a year wiser and I’m starting to shoot the puck more now.’’

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