Coach Pete Russell says Great Britain should relish one of the biggest weeks of their career.

GB get their IIHF World Championship Division 1 Group B campaign under way tomorrow against Croatia (4:30pm) as the UK hosts its first men’s World Championship for 25 years.

The six-team tournament, which is being held at Belfast’s SSE Arena, also involves Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Japan.

Russell said: “This is a massive week for British ice hockey and one that everyone I know is very proud to be involved in.

“A World Championship tournament is very special, but doing it on home ice is something that a generation of players has not experienced.

“The desire in this group of players burns deep and we have come so close in the last couple of years.

“We have had a excellent preparation starting with our training camp in Coventry, along with the two games against Poland.

“Since we have been here in Belfast, we have had some great training sessions and the boys are up for this.

“They know they can create history and they want to do something very special.”