Leeds Knights: Dave Whistle targets three new faces to help cope with growing number of absentees

DAVE WHISTLE is hoping to have three new faces in the Leeds Knights line-up for Saturday’s NIHL National clash with Raiders IHC at Elland Road.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 4:58 pm
Updated Friday, 29th October 2021, 6:01 pm
Leeds Knights' defenceman Ben Solder is back on duty with Manchester Storm in the Elite League over the next three nights. Picture: Andy Bourke/Podium Prints

Veteran centreman Matty Davies is out for at least two weeks with a lower-body injury, while Cole Shudra is not expected back until mid-December at the earliest after suffering an upper-body injury in Peterborough two weeks ago.

Defenceman Jordan Griffin is also out and is another player not expected back until December, a car accident keeping him out for two weeks already and also ruling him out of representing GB Under-20s in the World Championships taking place in Romania shortly before Christmas.

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Manchester Storm forward Harry Gulliver, centre, will ice for Leeds Knights this weekend. Picrture courtesy of Mark Ferriss/EIHL.

Another absentee this weekend will be fellow defenceman Ben Solder, who has been called back up by Elite League parent club Manchester Storm for their Challenge Cup back-to-back double header against Sheffield Steelers, the first of which takes place in Altrincham before a rematch in South Yorkshire tomorrow. He is also expected to be with Ryan Finnerty’s team for Sunday’s league clash at Guildford Flames.

In terms of new faces, goaltender Niks Trapans, who head coach Whistle had hoped to register in time for last weekend’s double-header against Swindon Wildcats, is now cleared to back-up No 1 goalie Sam Gospel this weekend.

Two other new faces are set to get their Knights’ debut, with Storm forward Harry Gulliver signing on the same kind of two-way deal Solder agreed in the summer and going straight in to face Raiders on Saturday.

Whistle has also gone back to the GB Under-18s squad to further add to his options for the weekend, with 17-year-old centre Carter Hamill - a former Belfast Giants Juniors team-mate of Knights’ forward Mackenzie Stewart and most recently having been signed to SNL outfit Dundee Comets - anticipated to be signed in time to make his Knights’ debut.

MISSING IN ACTION: Centre Matty Davies is expected to be out for at least two weeks with a lower-body injury. Picture courtesy of Andy Bourke/Podium Prints.

Whistle was working on Hamill’s registration on Friday afternoon in the hope of getting it completed in time for Saturday.