Leeds Knights: Jordan McLaughlin back to boost hopes of overdue NIHL National league win

JORDAN McLAUGHLIN is set to start in goal for Leeds Knights again tonight as Dave Whistle’s team look to snap a six-game losing streak in the NIHL National.

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 6:45 am
Updated Saturday, 20th November 2021, 8:18 am
Leeds Knights head coach, Dave Whistle Picture: James Hardisty.

Earlier this week, the Knights discovered they will face Swindon Wildcats in the Autumn Cup final, following their 12-7 aggregate victory over Telford Tigers.

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The Knights, of course, were already there waiting for Aaron Nell’s team courtesy of their own two-legged semi-final win over Sheffield Steeldogs.

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Jordan McLaughlin, in action for Leeds Knights against Sheffield Steeldogs Picture: Bruce Rollinson

But, despite winning their opening three regular season games, Leeds haven’t tasted victory in the league since October 23, leaving them second-bottom in the standings.

Injuries have played a major role in the Knights’ struggles and they go into tonight’s clash at home to Bees IHC (face-off 6.30pm) still missing six key players.

Chief among them is No 1 goalie Sam Gospel, who had a light skate at last night’s practice and earlier this week said he was targeting Friday’s trip to Sheffield for his return to action.

His continued absence this weekend, however, has prompted the Knights to ask Glasgow Clan for McLaughlin’s services again, the Scottish club’s back-up proving an adequate replacement in the Cup win over the Steeldogs and the subsequent league defeat to Peterborough Phantoms.

Defencemen Ross Kennedy and Jordan Griffin remain out this weekend, while forwards Cole Shudra, Joe Coulter and Philip Edgar are also sidelined.

“We need to get off this losing streak and we need to find that winning feeling again, particularly at home,” said Whistle.

“We need to make sure we stay positive and make sure we continue working hard in the right way. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a good chance of breaking this run.

“I’m so pleased with the way we have managed to play so many games with just 12 skaters. These players have worked their socks off and they deserve some success for their efforts.”

After tonight’s clash, the Knights hit the road tomorrow when they will look to exact revenge on a Peterborough team who won 6-2 at Elland Road last Saturday.