Sibling rivalry steps up a notch as Sheffield Steelers take on Belfast Giants

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
When Brandon Whistle scored against Belfast Giants last season, one thing almost took the shine off his goal.

His goaltender brother Jackson wasn't in the net. After years of good-natured banter and competitive rivalry, he'd been aching to score against his older sibling. He still is. And if the chance comes his way this weekend, the 24-year-old forward very much hopes to take it.

"I have never scored against him," says Brandon. "I had never played against him until the very last (League) game of last year (a 4-5 overtime loss at the SSE Arena.)

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"My first year at Steelers was the first year we ever played together (2018-19.) We have only been on the ice together a handful of times."

Growing up together, there was the normal brotherly antagonism.

"He made me go in goal all the time," said Brandon, of his three years older brother. He used to throw pucks at me and pick on me when I was a young kid! It would be nice to get one past him."

The brothers' father Dave, of course, is a former coach of Giants and Steelers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

So which team would the one-time Bracknell Bees centreman be rooting for this weekend, in the Saturday and Sunday games at Sheffield Arena?

Brandon Whistle looks away after in the defat to Belfast last AprilBrandon Whistle looks away after in the defat to Belfast last April
Brandon Whistle looks away after in the defat to Belfast last April

"If he (Jackson) is not playing then us. If he is playing it's a toss-up, I think he'd want me to score but him to play well, as well," said Brandon.

The 115-game forward said he hadn't seen much of Belfast, although he did view their Champions Hockey League games.

"We know they are going to be a good team, they have a good team every year, a good coach, and good will be a tough challenge."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said he couldn't tell how this season's Belfast team rated with the Giants outfit that won the league, but he suggested that while good players had left, top-quality replacements had been found.

Jackson Whistle facing Sheffield last yearJackson Whistle facing Sheffield last year
Jackson Whistle facing Sheffield last year

It promises to be an intriguing battle between second and fifth-placed teams.

Belfast's American forward David Goodwin, who played with distinction for Giants last year and 2019-20, is currently the EIHL's top points scorer with 25 points in 13 games.

Linemate Scott Conway is the league's top plus-minus skater with +18. The other linemate on that formation, Mark Cooper is +17.

Related topics: