The Stena Line Belfast Giants have announced the return of netminders Stephen Murphy, Jackson Whistle and Andrew Dickson for the 2017/18 season.
Murphy returns for his ninth season with the Giants, Whistle will play his second season in teal while Ballymoney man Dickson will ice for his seventh season in-a-row in Belfast.
Stephen Murphy originally joined the Giants in 2009 from the Manchester Phoenix and the Scot played a vital role in helping the organisation to the Playoff Championship at the end of his first season in Belfast.
Murphy famously starred in the decisive shootout in the grand final against the Cardiff Devils.
Since Murphy’s debut season in Northern Ireland, he has collected All-Star awards and winning the British Netminder of the Year award on eight occasions on his way to backstopping the organisation to Elite League titles in the 2011/12 and 2013/14 seasons.
He also helped Team GB win their first World Championship Gold Medal in 24 years during the 2017 tournament in Belfast.
Jackson Whistle, 22, joined the Giants in 2016 from the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. In 2014/15 the 6’1” netminder backstopped the Rockets to their first WHL championship since 2009.
As Whistle played his junior hockey in the UK, he therefore counts as a non-import player.
Jackson’s father David was the Giants first ever Head Coach, bringing a league title and a playoff championship to Belfast in 2002 and 2003 respectively.
Netminder Andrew Dickson, adored by both fans and teammates alike, returns to his local team in 2017/18. Dickson helped the Giants to the 2011/12 and 2013/14 Elite League championships, when he had a stand out year, claiming his first professional win in Belfast on 16th March against the Braehead Clan and followed up with an impressive second only days later against the Nottingham Panthers.
“Stephen Murphy has been the Giants backbone since 2009 and has led the team to a Playoff championship as well as two Elite League titles,” said Head Coach Adam Keefe.
“I am excited to have Jackson Whistle return to for a second season. He was great for us in his first season as a Giant.
“He’s a big goalie at 6’1” and I expect a healthy Jackson to share the work load with ‘Murph’ this season.
“I am pleased to have Andrew Dickson back with the Giants again.
“Andrew works hard and compliments his goaltending counterparts well.
“He is a great teammate to have in our locker room and the Giants fans should be proud of one of your own and how he continues to improve year on year. It is great to have him back on board.”