Coach Whistle Returns To Odyssey Arena As A Devil
Friday night at the Odyssey Arena sees the return of Dave Whistle, the first ever Head Coach of the Stena Line Belfast Giants and current boss of the Cardiff Devils as the two teams clash in Belfast at 7pm. Whistle put pen to paper for the Belfast organisation in the Summer of 2000, a few months before the Giants first home game in December of the same year. The then Giants Head Coach left his coaching position at Bracknell to join the UK’s newest ice-hockey franchise in Belfast and with him, brought familiar names such as Paxton Schulte, Colin Ward, Rob Stewart and current General Manager Todd Kelman. Dave Whistle, Head Coach with the team from 2000 to 2003 remains the only Giants coach to have won both the playoff title and the league title. In fact, Whistle came to Belfast as a champion coach, having coached the Bracknell Bees to the 1999/2000 Superleague title in his final season with the London side.
Now Whistle finds himself behind the bench for the Cardiff Devils who currently lie in eight position in the Elite League table and are possible playoff opponents for the Giants with the Elite League champions taking on the team placed 8th come the end of the 2013/14 league season. While the Devils are a mere point behind the 7th placed Hull Stingrays and three points from 6th position, currently occupied by the Coventry Blaze, they sit only two points clear of the Fife Flyers who still have two games in hand over the Cardiff side.
Whistle’s and Cardiff’s task on Friday appears to be a tough one on paper. The Welsh side have lost five straight games and will face-off against the Elite League Champion Giants who have won the last 15 league games and have not lost a game in regulation time since 3rd December 2013 – however the Devils can boast a win over the Giants in Belfast, on penalty shots in November 2013.
Good seats at the Odyssey Arena are still available for Friday’s 7pm clash between the Giants and the Devils – fans can purchase tickets from the Arena Box Office in person or by phoning (028) 9073 9074 or online by visiting Ticketmaster at this link.
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) March 5, 2014