Head coach Cheryl Smith says Great Britain Women’s games against EIHA Under-20s sides this season have been so crucial to the women’s programme.

GB Women played in the EIHA U20s Cup this season and had their final game last night in Ice Sheffield against Sheffield Scimitars.

It comes on the back of GB’s silver medal at the World Championship Division II Group A in Dumfries earlier this month.

Smith said: “It has been fantastic to play the under-20s sides throughout the year and it really has helped the programme.

“I don’t think there is any way the young players who played in Dumfries would have been ready if it was not for these games.

“I would like to thank Ice Hockey UK, the EIHA, as well as Geoff Hemmerman and Jackie Pye, for making this happen.

“It was crucial for our preparations and it helped so many of our players so much I felt throughout the course of the season.”