Leeds Knights: Why Ethan Hehir’s hat-trick display was no surprise to coach Dave Whistle
The 20-year-old forward picked up the man of the match award after firing a hat-trick in Sunday night’s 10-4 hammering of Raiders IHC, a result which leaves Leeds as the only team with a 100 per cent record in the NIHL Autumn Cup.
The former GB Under-20 and Under-18 international also picked up an assist in a display which head coach Whistle said was further evidence of the youngster’s quality.
Ever since he first put Hehir on a line with fellow winger Jordan Fisher and centre Joe Coulter, Whistle has been delighted with the results.
“It’s a great achievement for players like that - it’s super nice, because they deserve it,” said Whistle. “They are the ones that generally deserve it more than they actually get it.
“He probably only got three scoring chances all night and he scored on every one of them, so that’s not bad going!
“But, to be honest, I’ve loved his game all year since we first came in for pre-season. He plays well at both ends of the ice, he’s very responsible at both ends and he’ll chip it in and he’ll chip it out.
“Ethan, Jordan and Joe have worked really well for us all year and that line did a great job again all weekend.
“They scored three goals and they didn’t get scored on. The other lines are scoring most of the goals but it was nice for that line to get some goals, too.”
As for Hehir - who scored 20 points in 44 appearances, including six goals, during the 2019-20 season with Leeds Chiefs - he was understandably delighted to get up and running for the season.
“It was nice to finally get on the board, we’ve been working hard on it in training, to get some goals and we finally found the back of the net, so hopefully we can keep that going,” he said.
“Being good at both ends of the ice is crucial for any team and now we just need to keep rolling and keep this winning run going.”