Steven Moore gets his reward as Leeds Chiefs start to spread the scoring load

MATCH-UP: Ethan Hehir, Andres Kopstals and Steven Moore have proved a good match for top lines on other teams.MATCH-UP: Ethan Hehir, Andres Kopstals and Steven Moore have proved a good match for top lines on other teams.
MATCH-UP: Ethan Hehir, Andres Kopstals and Steven Moore have proved a good match for top lines on other teams.
STEVEN MOORE’S hat-trick heroics for Leeds Chiefs at the weekend were reward for his willingness to adapt his game since making the move from Scotland last summer, says coach Sam Zajac.

The 26-year-old Scot hit his first treble for the Elland Road club to help earn a point in a thrilling clash with second-placed Swindon Wildcats on Sunday night. It was the focal point of a stirring comeback from the Chiefs, who found themselves 5-1 down inside 35 minutes in Solihull.

Ultimately, it was the Wildcats who took the extra point on offer in overtime to secure a 6-5 win, but Moore’s exploits were another sign of the wider scoring threat now posed by Zajac’s team.

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“He’s been exceptional,” said player-coach Zajac, who finally gets to lead his players out for their first-ever home game at Elland Road on Friday night.

SPREADING THE LOAD: Leeds Chiefs' player-coach, Sam Zajac. Picture courtesy of Tony Sargent.SPREADING THE LOAD: Leeds Chiefs' player-coach, Sam Zajac. Picture courtesy of Tony Sargent.
SPREADING THE LOAD: Leeds Chiefs' player-coach, Sam Zajac. Picture courtesy of Tony Sargent.

“He’ll probably be the first to admit he’s not scored as many as he would have liked this season, but we’ve asked him to play a different kind of role to what he’s been used to over the last few years.

“With Steve, he is always more than willing to do whatever needs doing to benefit the team.”

Zajac said the line of Moore, Andres Kopstals and Ethan Hehir was proving a match for any other in NIHL National.

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“We’ve had that line matching up against the other teams’ top lines in the past few weeks – almost in a shutdown role – but that’s something they are really effective at because all three of them are great defensively.”

Zajac said fans were now starting to see the full effect of the Chiefs’ ability to roll three forward lines on a consistent basis, a luxury denied them for a large chunk of their debut campaign.

“Over the weekend we had scoring from all three lines with Joe Coulter, Ethan, Liam Charnock and Adam Barnes all getting on the scoresheet.

“We’re no longer relying on one line like we maybe were earlier in the year when we had Barnes, (Radek) Meidl and (James) Archer together.

“We’re now spreading the scoring around which is a real positive and something you’re always looking for as a coach.”