Men’s IIHF World Championships Division 1 Group B 2014
It’s the turn of Great Britain’s Men’s team to compete in the IIHF World Championships, as they head to Lithuania to play in Division 1 Group B.
The tournament hosted in Vilnius, will see GB come up against Croatia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland and Romania.
As GB were relegated last year, the emphasis will be on going for the gold and retaking their place in Group A.
The first game on Sunday will see GB face Croatia who were promoted after hosting and winning their group last year and doing so by winning all five games, outscoring opponents 27-8.
Poland and Netherlands are sure to pose tough questions as they finished second and third respectively in their last campaign, while Lithuania who avoided relegation by winning a solitary game, can call on the guile and experience of Dainius Zubrus who plays for the New Jersey Devils in the NHL.
This will be Doug Christiansen’s first competitive tournament as head coach of GB and he’s already had to make tough and slightly controversial player selections in naming his first squad
The camp went well according to the coach and two warm-up games against the Netherlands provided some stiff enough opposition to boost confidence heading out to Lithuania.
The key, as in all levels of hockey GB compete, will be discipline. As we’ve seen before, the teams penchant for spending too much time in the penalty box has come back to bite them and cost them vital points. They have the talent to challenge for a medal if they are able to keep their heads and wits about them during this tournament.
The squad below features Paul Swindlehurst, Matty Davies and Mike Will, who have been selected for a men’s World Championship squad for the first time.
Ben Bowns – Hull Stingrays
Stephen Murphy – Belfast Giants
Mike Will – Braehead Clan
Steve Lee – Nottingham Panthers
Danny Meyers – Sheffield Steelers
Ben O’Connor – Arlan Kokshetau
David Phillips – Belfast Giants
Mark Richardson – Cardiff Devils
Paul Swindlehurst – Dundee Stars
Jonathan Weaver – Nottingham Panthers
David Clarke – Nottingham Panthers
Ben Davies – Cardiff Devils
Matty Davies – Hull Stingrays
Robert Dowd – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Farmer – Nottingham Panthers
Mark Garside – Belfast Giants
Jason Hewitt – Sheffield Steelers
Phil Hill – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Lachowicz – Nottingham Panthers
Matthew Myers – Cardiff Devils
Jonathan Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Colin Shields – Belfast Giants
Ashley Tait – Coventry Blaze
GB’s schedule is as follows and all their fixtures will be available to view on the subscription channel Premier Sports. Times listed are for the UK.
SUN, APR 20 – Croatia vs. Great Britain 11am
MON, APR 21- Great Britain vs. Romania 11am
WED, APR 23- Great Britain vs. Lithuania 6pm
THU, APR 24 – Netherlands vs. Great Britain 2.30pm
SAT, APR 26 – Great Britain vs. Poland 2.30pm