Forward Colin Shields says Great Britain have a chance to create some history next week as the country hosts its first men’s World Championship for 25 years.

Belfast’s SSE Arena is the venue for the IIHF Division 1 Group B tournament from 23rd to 29th April, with GB beginning the six-team tournament against Croatia on Sunday (4pm).

They will then face Estonia, Lithuania and Netherlands before going head-to-head with Japan on the last day of the tournament.

“It is going to be a special week that’s for sure,” said Shields. “Hosting a World Championship is something really exciting.

“We know there will be pressure on us to perform, but you dream of moments like this as a sportsman.

“The people of Northern Ireland love their sport and I know they will turn up in their numbers – and I have spoken to lots of people flying over.

“There will be a real buzz around Belfast next week and it is important we feed off that buzz and thrive on it as we push to go one better than previous years.

“We’ve had a good training camp so far and the two games against Poland gave us some excellent match practice.”