Sheffield Steelers’ goalie Jackson Whistle relishes his role at the club
Jackson Whistle says he was sorry to see his chief competitor for the goaltending spot at Sheffield Steelers leave.
But the release of import Matt Climie now means the GB netminder can concentrate solely on cementing the spot as his own and playing a role in finding club consistency.
Climie left amid suggestions he had lost the mental edge required to keep pucks out.
When the 35-year-old arrived coach Tom Barrasso started off keeping faith in the goalie who had just won a game.
Then Barrasso switched to alternating on a back-to-back weekend.
Now Whistle can expect to get the nod on a more regular basis, with local boy Brad Day his back-up, unless another netminder is brought in.
"I really enjoy meeting Matt, I thought he was a great guy, we hung out all the time, competed all the time in practice but obviously moving forward I want to be in the net all the time and play every single game," said Jackson, who has been Steelers' best player recently.
"Hopefully I will get the chance to do that and just keep going."
Whistle was encouraged by Steelers' performance against league leaders Cardiff Devils, midweek.
"I thought it was one of our best games in a while,” he said.
"Obviously it is not the outcome we would have wanted (2-3 loss) but I think if we can stick to playing like this, over the course of the rest of the season we are going to be looking really good.
"That is the best team in the league and they are the best team in the league for a reason.
"They play on a consistent basis and it is kind of something we want to match and hopefully beat.
"But I think that it is a big step moving forward."
Whistle expects an offensive threat from Glasgow Clan, at Sheffield Arena on Saturday night, as Steelers again attempt to embark on a move up the standings.