MELBOURNE, Australia – The Perth Thunder made it through to the AIHL Finals despite being in only their second season in the league.
Having acquitted themselves well during the regular season, they were greeted with unenviable task of facing off with league powerhouse, Newcastle North Stars.
At any level, in any sport, the playoff system separates teams based on experience and the AIHL Finals were no different.
The North Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and really never looked back.
In the first, Pier-Olivier Cotnoir delivered a special teams’ goal on a short-handed situation. Jeff Martens added a power play goal in the first to open up the 2-0 lead.
In the second, Newcastle added two more goals, one on the power play from Cotnoir, before the Thunder netted one of their own.
But that was as close as Perth would get.
Cotnoir added a third goal for the hat trick in the final stanza as the North Stars cruised to a 6-1 win on their way to the Goodall Cup Grand Finale Sunday.