“WE FIGHT FOR EVERY POINT” – SLAVA

The action resumes in Budapest today for Great Britain U20 with an evening game against Poland (8pm local, 7pm UK).

GB have lost their opening two games and have just one point in the standings.  After today’s game they face Italy and Ukraine to complete the tournament.

On Tuesday’s rest day the squad were able to get some all important rest before a hard working practice at Jegpalota.

Assistant coach Slava Koulikov spoke with Ice Hockey Radio after practice: “We played well for the second part of the Hungary game but were very average in the first period.  Hungary will be up there challenging for gold I’m sure.  We have to learn from that and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again and look to get something from the Poland game.

“You want to win every game you play.  If you lose then there’s another game the next day and both sides are at 0-0.  There are nine points left this week and we are fighting for every point that’s for sure.”

kirkForward Liam Kirk has three points (1G 2A) from the first two games to lead GB in scoring and a tournament-high 12 shots.  The 16-year-old Sheffield Steelers player is enjoying the step up from U18 to U20.

“It’s a lot faster, the players are smarter and more physical.  That’s something you have to be aware of and not let it affect your game,” he said.

“Our team are starting to click and the results so far haven’t been what we want.  We’re working hard and as a team we’ll look to pull it round starting with Poland.

“After the Hungary game everyone said this is it, there are three games left and we’re going to give it our all.”

Arguably the busiest player on the ice so far has been goalie Renny Marr, facing 82 shots in his two games to date.  Marr, who plays with Coventry Blaze, says the tournament schedule can be pretty intense.

“Playing the games in such a short period of time can be quite physical, so it’s important to manage your rest, fluids and food to keep in the best shape for the week.”

Marr and Denis Bell are the two goalies here in Budapest and they have goalie coach Nathan Craze to give them specific training and support.

rennydownlow“Denis and I have been in the GB programme since we were 14-15 years old, we’re really good friends and we always room together when we are away.

“Working with Crazey too – he’s been at Coventry a couple of times too – using his experience really helps, particularly with getting your head in the game.”

You can hear the full interviews with Slava Koulikov, Renny Marr and Liam Kirk by clicking the links below.  Ice Hockey UK Radio is brought to you in association with McDonald’s.

Great Britain play Poland tonight in Budapest, face off is 8pm local, 7pm UK time.  Coverage via the TeamGBicehockey twitter account for text updates, or you can watch online at www.sportstream.hu – the stream starts just before face off and it is free.