Mirko Mosr at warm ups in Hasselt
Knights losing streak continues
The Knights can't seem to win this season. In the last two weeks, the Knights played a total of 4 games and thus had almost no practice, again. They were also plagued by illness as in none of the games, a complete roster was available. The flu or Covid bug made its rounds.
Nevertheless, in a game against the young Hurricanes U20 on Tuesday night, November 14, the Knights, playing without top line centerman Benny Welter, couldn't solve the riddle in the Hurricanes net, Jesse Miquel playing a great game and fending off 46 shots whilst the youngsters, amongst which Knights regular youngester Isaac Weyders, Dylan Cardoso and Szymon Mazurek capitalised on their chances to beat Pete Swiderek and the end score was 2-4 in favor of the Hurricanes.
Then on Saturday, November 18, another young team was in town, the young Chiefs from Leuven.
Here again, the Knights started well and scored the first goal of the game. At the end of the first intermission, the score was tied at 2-2 though. In the second, the Knights took a commanding 5-2 lead and went into the final stretch with a 5-3 lead. But penalty trouble loomed yet again and the lack of self-confidence had the Knights play with clenched cheeks and as a result, they let the Chiefs back into the game, getting stunned by a last minute goal, yet again. In overtime, same outcome as the two weeks prior, a silenced crowd when the Young Chiefs dangled through the 3 defenseless Knights to beat Sven Oberweis for the 5-6 win.
On Thursday last week, the Knights then travelled to Kockelscheuer to play against the new team of the Grands Ducs that they beat 10-4 at home. This time, the roster was reduced to 10 players, missing the two Welters, Sacha Backes and Shorty Müller, 3 top 6 players. Despite evening out on shots, the Knights couldn't get anything going and ended up losing 4-8 against the much older team.
Then this Saturday, again decimated by illness, the squad travelled with 10 guys to Hasselt and what seemed to be a guaranteed win ended in another narrow defeat. Going up 1-0 on a goal by Claude Mossong, the Knights were in control of the game early on. The funk from the previous games seemed gone, the shot clock said 8-0 in favor of the knights after 10 minutes, the Hasselt Haskeys couldn't get access to the Knights zone. But then things changed again. The Haskeys started finding the holes in the Knights' defense and equalized the score at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
In the second, the Haskeys took over and went up 5-2. Defensive mistakes were again the recipe for disaster.
But playing from behind instead of starting the last period with a lead seemed to tip the scales. The knights scored early and then again to get to within 1 goal at the half point of the final period. There was enough hustle and willingness to not be defeated again. Comes in: penalty trouble... discipline seems to be the biggest issue this season and combined with a total lack of confidence in their own abilities, the Knights saw the Haskey dominate the final 6 minutes and win the game 6-4.
A tough stretch for a team that came in with hopes to be playing for the title in the Belgian Division 1 this season. Now it'll be difficult to even get a spot amongst the top 6 by the end of the year after which the Division will be split between the winner round of 6 and the loser round of 6.
A lot of mental work lies ahead for the squad and some practice time won't hurt.
We hope our fans stick with the team on its difficult journey in a year of transition.