By Craig Summerton
As part of their preparation for the World Championship Division I Group A later this month in Budapest, Great Britain will take on Lithuania in two international challenge matches.
Firstly, at Planet Ice Arena in Milton Keynes on Saturday 14th April (7pm) and then the following night at the Skydome Arena in Coventry on Sunday 15th April (5:15pm).
Not only will there be a host of popular names competing for the final 23 places on the Great Britain squad, but excitingly as part of the Lithuania roster will be two former NHL greats, Dainius Zubrus and Darius Kasparaitis.
Zubrus, now 39, is a number-one draft-pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, going on to play over 1,400 NHL games, mainly with the Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils.
The last time GB faced Zubrus in the 2014 World Championship, the 6’4″ forward was the star of the show registering an assist and the game-winner in a 2-1 Lithuania victory on home ice
Kasparaitis meanwhile, now the grand age of 45, also a number-one draft-pick with the New York Islanders, established himself as one of the most punishing body-checkers in the game with over 900 NHL appearances.
The 5’10” defenceman, whom opposition openly detested playing against, iced for the Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers before moving to Russia’s KHL and dressing for SKA St Petersburg.
In addition to their NHL fame, the only Lithuanian pair to ever reach the greatest league in the world have received numerous accolades on the international stage.
Despite their now veteran status, rarely have players of such calibre stepped foot onto ice in the UK, so make sure you’re there on the 14th April at Planet Ice Milton Keynes and 15th at the Skydome in Coventry to welcome and enjoy the talents of the famous pair.
GB v Lithuania ticket prices
Before 23:59 on Sunday 8th April 2018…
Adult – £15
Under 16 – £8
16-18 – £11
Senior (60+) – £11
NUS Extra – £11
Family (2 adult/2 children) – £39
After 23:59 on Sunday 8th April…
Adult – £18
Under 16 – £10
16-18 – £13
Senior (60+) – £13
NUS Extra – £13
Family (2 adult/2 children) – £47
To buy tickets for GB against Lithuania at Planet Ice Arena Milton Keynes, visit the box office in person, click here or telephone 01908 540020. Away seating is in block nine.
To buy tickets for GB against Lithuania at the Skydome in Coventry, visit the Skydome box office in person, click here or call 02476 630693. Away seating is in bock eight.