Great Britain’s U18 side begin their World Championship on Monday afternoon with a match against top seeds Lithuania (3pm UK time).
The Lithuanians were relegated from Division 1B last year, 12 months after winning promotion against Grubb’s u18s in Dumfries. Now they and GB meet on the first day in the tournament’s second match.
The GB squad contains only six players from those who won bronze in Estonia last March – defencemen Ben Nethersell, Kyle Smith, Oliver Stone, Edward Knaggs and forwards Sam Duggan and Adam Finlinson.
Coach Martin Grubb said: “It is a much changed squad but having four returning defencemen is a huge plus – added to the d-men we’ve brought in it makes the back end very strong.
“We’ve been working towards this for months with regular training camps, even the couple of days we had in Coventry before we flew out here. It was all part of the preparation.
“Myself and the whole management team are excited by the opportunity we have, and as always proud to represent the country at our sport.
“The players share the pride, some of them are veterans you could say with many tournaments under their belt. Those playing at IIHF level for the first time will be nervous but also excited.”
With the seedings as they are, third seed Great Britain play the top seeds in the first round of games but Grubb sees that as a good thing.
“We have to look on it as an opportunity playing Lithuania first up. It’s their first game too, they arrived a little after us and have had the same practice here in Brasov as us. The players know they have to come out hard from the first puck drop.
“It can’t take us till the second period to get into the game – by then it could be too late. We go from minute one to minute sixty.”
Great Britain play Lithuania in Brasov on opening day of IIHF U18 World Championship Division 2A. Face off is 5pm local time, which is 3pm in the UK.
Regular updates will be available on the @TeamGBIcehockey twitter account with report and reaction on www.icehockeyuk.co.uk after the match.