RUSSELL: GB PLAYERS HAVE BEEN INSPIRING

Head coach Pete Russell says the achievements of Great Britain’s players over the past five years highlights the decision by Canada to come to the UK to take part in next’s year international challenge game.

GB will host Canada at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham – in association with Lucas – on Tuesday 5th May 2020 before both sides depart for the World Championship in Switzerland, which gets under way the following weekend.

After silver medals in the third tier in 2015 and 2016, GB won the gold medal and promotion in Belfast a year later.

Despite being sixth seeds, they made it back-to-back promotions in 2018 in Hungary to secure a place at the top-flight World Championship in Slovakia.

Against all the odds, Russell’s side avoided relegation on the final day by beating France 4-3 in overtime despite being 3-0 down in the second period.

Russell said: “All the players over the past five years have played a part in this. For me, it’s all on them and they should take all the plaudits. They have been inspiring.

“Their dedication and commitment to the GB programme is just outstanding The pure pride, belief and desire they have in playing for their country is infectious. The rise and successes they have achieved is nothing short of remarkable.

“Any player who is fortunate enough to come in and join this group is just completely infected by the feeling. To push and punch above our ranking the way we have is just like a fairytale.

“Now we have Canada coming to our great country to play Great Britain in our back garden. It’s unbelievable and this is simply down to the guys. In my opinion they have really put GB on the ice hockey map.

“I am so proud of them all and feel so fortunate to have been able to a part of the journey. Our hockey nation should be so proud of every one of the 45 plus players who have played their part in the story.

“A special mention must also go the our travelling GB Barmy Army fans. Every tournament we go to – everyone, players and other nations talk about how amazing they are and how they bring a special atmosphere to the games.

“I’m pretty sure a packed arena Nottingham will be a very special event for both sets of players to experience.”

There are currently fewer than 50 seats remaining for this game and these are the sightline seats which have a slightly restricted view of the ice.

These are available for purchase either on the phone 0843 373 3000 or at the Motorpoint Arena box office in person. These tickets cannot be purchased online.