Watch Zane Jones’ huge hit for Northstarsvideo

Watch Zane Jones’ huge hit for Northstars | video TARGET MAN: Zane Jones celebrates a goal for the Northstars early in the season before he injured his knee. Picture: Wulos
Nanjing Night Net

TweetFacebookTHAT hit by @ZaneZila_. Cam Critchlow felt the full force of the #ZaneTrain🚂 on Saturday #AIHL#WeAreNewcastlehttps://t.co/l1pbCimYDf

— Proski Northstars (@NewNorthstars) July 17, 2017

“We unleashed him in the third period.

“He announced himself as a returned player with quite a bit of noise. I’ve never seen a guy try harder to score a goal.

“He made two gigantic hits, perfectly legal. Hits like that can turn games, and they certainly lift the bench, the fans and in many ways deflate the opposition.

“The first hit was on their team captain, who’sbeen in the league a long time and is highly respected, big, physical player, and he just got rocked.”

The second, on Adrenaline star Cam Critchlow, was even bigger and drew gasps from the crowd.

Jones’ introduction coincided with the Northstars storming home with six goals in the final term to keep their Australian Ice Hockey League finals hopes alive.

Petrie said his team were playing well anyway, despite the score, but Jones “changed the feel of the game”.

“The opposition just becomes more timid. There’s no other way to put it.

“If you’ve got your foot to the floor and the other team backs off a little bit, it all comes together.

“I know if I was on the ice I’d be aware of where he was at all times.

“You don’t want to get caught by that guy.”

Petrie said another key factor in the win was a new approach in attack.

“We stopped mucking around with the puck. We just demanded that they simplify their offence, shoot the puck more and get into dirty areas in front of the net.

“We’ve got all these guys with elite professional shots not using them, looking for fancy backdoor passes.”

The sixth-placed Northstars (24 points) face a season-defining away double-header this weekend against the fourth-placed Melbourne Mustangs (27).

Win both and they could end the weekend inside the top four. Lose both and they are almost certainly out of the finals race.

“We’re not a bad team; we’re a very good team. We’ve just struggled to string a few wins together,” Petrie said.

“Webelieve we’ve turned a corner and we’re a threat to any team in the league now.

“This weekend starting tomorrow against Melbourne Mustangs is absolutely pivotal, not just for us but the Mustangs and everyone with aspirations of finishing third and fourth.”

The Northstars, almost back to full strength,have the rare luxury of having to leave two healthy players behind when they fly to Melbourne.

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