THREE GB TEAMS IN ACTION TO KICKSTART BUSY WEEKEND

Three Great Britain teams are in action on a busy Friday to kickstart a fantastic weekend of ice hockey.

Great Britain Under-18s face Austria Under-18s in the Division I Group B of the World Championship in Hungary (11:30am UK time).

GB Men face Italy in an international challenge game at the Skydome in Coventry (7:30pm) and the day is rounded off by GB Women taking on Sheffield in the EIHA U20s Cup in Ice Sheffield (10:15pm).

Great Britain Under-18s
GB U18s picked up their first win on Wednesday at the U18 World Championship Division I Group B as they beat hosts Hungary 5-4 in a thrilling encounter.

Kieran Brown scored a hat-trick, including the game-winner with under two minutes remaining.

It was their first win in the six-team tournament after defeats by Slovenia U18s and Japan U18s in their opening two matches.

Austria U18s are today’s opponents and victory for the GB youngsters would set up the potential of a medal in Szekesfehervar.

Head coach, Martin Grubb, said: “We showed what huge character we have in this group and made sure we found a way to win (against Hungary) and the boys deserve the credit they receive.

“We now focus ourselves for Austria and will be trying to play as much even-handed hockey as possible and see where it takes us.”

Great Britain Men
Great Britain’s 30-man training camp squad met in Coventry on Tuesday night as preparations got under way for next month’s World Championship in Slovakia.

GB have been training twice a day as they build-up for tonight’s match with Italy, which is followed by a game in Milton Keynes on Sunday against Hungary.

After the weekend’s action, head coach Pete Russell will cut his squad to 25 and these players will face KHL side Torpedo in Nottingham and Sheffield next weekend, before going on to represent GB at their first top-flight World Championship since 1994.

Russell said: “These two matches this weekend will be a great test for us. We are playing two quality sides.

“Training camp has gone really well so far and after the weekend, the coaches then have the difficult job of reducing the squad to 25.:

Great Britain Women
Fresh from their silver medal at the Women’s World Championship Division II Group A in Dumfries earlier this month. GB Women complete their series of games in the EIHA U20 Cup.

GB take-on Sheffield at Ice Sheffield tonight (10:15pm) with mixture of experienced and young players in the line-up.

Head coach, Cheryl Smith, said: “These games were fantastic for our preparations for the World Championship and the players take so much from that.

“Preparations are already starting for next year’s World Championship and so the game in Sheffield will be a good chance to run our eye over some younger players in the GB programme.”