First game on opposite benches for Whitney brothers
It was a back-story for most of the crowd at the Albany Devils game Saturday against the Norfolk Admirals, but for the Whitney family, the 2-0 Devils win was the back-story. The headline was about Joe and Steven Whitney playing their first game on opposing teams.
Joe is leading the Albany Devils in scoring this season, his second as a pro, with 26 goals and 25 assists. Steven has been playing on an amateur tryout contract with Norfolk since the completion of his collegiate career with Boston College, where Joe also went to school and where both brothers have won NCAA championships.
Steven signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks, so he will likely be with Norfolk next season and make this kind of meeting more of a common occurence. But Saturday, it was all new ground for the brothers.
"It was pretty cool," Joe said. "We had breakfast this morning together, and we were talking about how we never played against each other, we'd always played with each other. It was kind of weird at first, actually, seeing him on the other team. But it was neat. Mom and dad were up in the stands, and it was a pretty cool experience for the family."
The family hails from Reading, Mass., not far from Boston and Watertown, an area that has been through the wringer this past week, so it must have been a nice escape to get out of town and watch both boys play a professional game against each other.
Both Whitneys started the game at right wing, wished each other luck and then went about their business. Before the start of the second period, Joe skated past Steven and looked like he said something while passing him by, but Joe said after the game there was no trash talk between the two.
"Nah," he said. "There was a little joking around, but business is business when we're on the ice."