Onwards and upwards for Team GB
Just two months after the campaign to qualify for the Winter Olympics ended, Team GB head to Hungary for the World Championships in good heart.
Despite losing every game in February there was a lot to be positive about going forward and a new optimism to be found amongst all those connected with the team.
Great Britain head coach Tony Hand has named a 22-man squad which is in the midst of a 3-day training camp, almost unheard of in the past, before heading out to Hungary on Friday.
Team GB will be competing in Division I Group A.
In the World Championships the teams play a single round-robin series and face each opponent once.
The winner of the Group will be promoted to the Top Division. The last-ranked team will be relegated to Division I Group B.
As well as facing the hosts Hungary(19) in the opening game, Team GB will play Italy(16), Kazakhstan (17), Japan(22) and Korea(28).
Great Britain are ranked 21st in the world but have reasons to be optimistic going into the tournament.
In the pre-Olympic qualifying they beat Japan, and know what it will take to gain revenge on Korea for a defeat. In the same way they will know what to expect from Kazakhstan who handed them a heavy defeat in the final game in February.
In stretches against France and even Latvia they were able to hold their own and both those teams will be competing in the World Championships in May.
The talk from the head coach is that it will be a hard test but he expects the team to compete well and the goal at the outset is to gain a medal. This would be no mean achievement with what is laid out in front of them.
From what we witnessed in February we know the guys have talent and a good team ethic. The biggest issue was a lack of discipline and giving away too many soft penalties. If they can right that wrong and get some great goaltending along the way then maybe that medal isn’t such a high bar to reach.
Games will be shown on Premier Sports, with live coverage according to their website.
14 Apr 2013, Sun. 18:30 GB v Hungary
15 Apr 2013, Mon 15:00 GB v Kazakhstan
17 Apr 2013, Wed 15:00 GB v Italy
19 Apr 2013, Fri 15:00 GB v Japan
20 Apr 2013, Sat 11:30 GB v Korea
Team GB Roster:
Netminders: Ben Bowns (Hull Stingrays), Stephen Murphy (Belfast Giants)
Defensemen: Luke Boothroyd (Manchester Phoenix), Stevie Lee (Nottingham Panthers),
Danny Meyers (Sheffield Steelers), David Phillips (Belfast Giants), Mark Richardson (Cardiff Devils),
Mark Thomas (Sheffield Steelers), Jonathan Weaver (Nottingham Panthers)
David Clarke (Nottingham Panthers), Ben Davies (Cardiff Devils), Robert Dowd (Troja Ljungby),
Robert Farmer (Braehead Clan), Phil Hill (Cardiff Devils), Robert Lachowicz (Nottingham Panthers),
Matthew Myers (Nottingham Panthers), Aaron Nell (Swindon Wildcats),
Greg Owen (Basingstoke Bison), Craig Peacock (Belfast Giants), Jonathan Phillips (Sheffield Steelers),
Colin Shields (Belfast Giants), Ashley Tait (Sheffield Steelers)