Leeds Knights forward Brandon Whistle steps up with Sheffield Steelers for weekend

BRANDON WHISTLE will ice for Sheffield Steelers this weekend – despite parent club Leeds Knights also being in action.

FAMILIAR FACE: Brandon Whistle, in action for Sheffield Steelers against Fife Flyers last month. 

Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media/EIHL
FAMILIAR FACE: Brandon Whistle, in action for Sheffield Steelers against Fife Flyers last month. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media/EIHL

The fact the 24-year-old Canadian-born forward is playing for the Steelers is not unusual, given he has made six appearances for them already this season, picking up a goal and an assist.

But his appearance for the Elite League leaders this weekend will come as a surprise to some given it will be on two nights when the Knights are also in action.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

All Whistle’s previous top-flight appearances have come when the Knights have been without a game but, when discussing team news on Friday night for the weekend, Leeds owner Steve Nell confirmed that Whistle would play with the Steelers this weekend.

STEPPING UP: Leeds Knights forward Brandon Whistle Picture: Andy Bourke/Podium Prints

Aaron Fox’s team go into tonight’s home clash with Dundee Stars (7pm) looking to extend their winning streak to four games, their last defeat coming against Omar Pacha’s team in a 3-2 defeat in Scotland two weeks ago.

The Steelers will complete a Scottish double when they head north tomorrow to take on Glasgow Clan, who they beat 3-2 on home ice 10 days ago thanks to an overtime winner from Justin Hodgman.

Steelers’ head coach Fox said his players had made the most of a game-free midweek, spending two days away from the rink before returning on Wednesday to prepare for the visit from Dundee.

“Dundee did a good job of manahging the game at there place, played really well defensively,” said Fox. “We had plenty of chances to win that hockey game, we just didn’t manage to as we weren’t clinical enough in front of net.

“It wasn’t our best night, sure, but we’ve had a good week this week. It’s been nice to have that full week of preparation. At times, it is good to have those midweek games in there but when we’ve had as many bodies out as we have had recently it was good not to have one this week.”

Leeds start a home double-header in NIHL National without Whistle – who has scored 84 points including 39 goals in 41 games for them – by welcoming Peterborough Phantoms to Elland Road tonight (6.30pm).

Peterborough sit just one place and three points adrift of fifth-placed Leeds, who have played a game more. Seventh-placed Basingstoke Bison are the second team to make the trip to West Yorkshire tomorrow (5.15pm).

Leeds will be keen to repeat last week’s four-point haul in order to close the gap further on Sheffield Steeldogs, who are three points ahead of them having played one game more.

The Steeldogs – who also enjoyed a maximum return last weekend with wins over Basingstoke and Bees IHC – hit the road tonight looking to repeat their win over Doug Sheppard’s side on home ice last Sunday.

Greg Wood’s team – boosted by the arrival of Swedish centre Andreas Valdix earlier this week from the Steelers – will then play host to league leaders Telford Tigers tomorrow (4.30pm).

Valdix, 37, said: he was looking forward to his Steeldogs’ debut against Bees in Slough.

“It’s been very good so far, it’s been an easy team to get into and I knew Ali (Cree, co-owner) and Hewey (Jason Hewitt) before and I’ve met most of the other guys before when down practicing at Ice Sheffield.

“I know the team did very well when the Covid-enforced break was in place and I’m looking forward to keeping that kind of form going here.

“Hopefully we can get a good crowd there on Sunday, a good atmosphere and a win. I’m looking forward to all the games and hopefully we can move up the standings get to first place.

“The aim is to pick up some silverware, that’s why I’m here, to win something