New import forward Jordan Knox may have only had a couple of practice sessions ahead of his first taste of the UK’s Elite League – but Hull Stingrays’ player-coach Omar Pacha is convinced he has a quality player on his hands.
The Canadian-born winger arrived on Thursday and got to ice with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday ahead of today’s encounter with reigning regular season champions Belfast Giants at Hull Ice Arena today.
Knox will come up against a familiar face tonight in the shape of his cousin Adam Keefe, captain of Belfast.
Pacha had wanted to bring the 27-year-old to Yorkshire in the summer, but Knox instead opted to join Poland’s KH Sanok where he registered 24 points, including nine goals, in 19 games before deciding his future did in fact lie in Hull.
“Knoxy has only had one practice but you can tell he is a smart player,” said Pacha, . “He knows the game and he made some smart plays.
“He had not been on the ice for three weeks, but we will now be asking him to log some heavy minutes this weekend.”
Hull head north tomorrow to take on Dundee Stars, making for a particularly unforgiving weekend, something readily acknowledged by Pacha.
“It is another big weekend for us,” added Pacha, who is banned for both games this weekend for abuse of officials in last Sunday’s 6-4 defeat at Braehead Clan.
“We will need to play another tight, smart game at home, while we know we will have to be patient in Dundee.”
Sheffield Steelers returned to the top of the table last night, following a comfortable 4-1 home victory over Cardiff Devils.
Mathieu Roy broke the deadlock at 5.57, but it wasn’t until after the halfway stage that Steelers added to their tally, scoring two goals in 26 seconds.
Robert Dowd made it 2-1 at 34.35, with Phil Hill scoring against his and head coach Gerad Adams’s former club soon after.
The Devils responded swiftly through a Carl Hudson strike at 36.13, but the win was confirmed in the dying seconds for Steelers through Colton Fretter’s empty-net strike.