Great Britain will play five mouth-watering international challenge matches as part of their preparations for the World Championship in Slovakia next year.
Pete Russell’s side will be involved in a triangular tournament with Hungary and Italy in April, followed by two games against KHL side Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, while Dinamo Riga will visit the UK in February.
Britain will meet Riga, who play in the KHL’s Western Conference, in Coventry’s Skydome on Wednesday, 6th February.
As part of GB’s extensive training camp for their first return to the top flight of the World Championship since 1994, they will play a triangular tournament against two sides they faced last season to win promotion.
Great Britain face Italy in the Skydome on Friday, 19th April, which will spark memories of GB’s thrilling 4-3 victory in Budapest.
Italy and Hungary will then meet in the Skydome the following day – a re-run of their World Championship meeting last season that saw Hungary skate to a 3-2 win.
The three-team tournament will be rounded off with GB against Hungary in Milton Keynes on Sunday, 21st April.
It will be the first meeting of the two sides since last April’s dramatic final game in Budapest, as Robert Farmer’s goal with 15 seconds remaining saw GB secure the point they needed for promotion to the elite level – a game GB went on to win on penalty shots.
The following weekend will see the visit of Torpedo to the UK, with GB going head-to-head with the KHL Eastern Conference side in Nottingham on Saturday, 27th April, and in Sheffield the following day.
Further details, face-off times and ticket information will be announced in due course.
Ice Hockey UK general secretary, Andy French, said: “This is a really exciting line-up of warm-up games for Great Britain in their World Championship preparations.
“It has been a lot of work getting everything into place but we are heading down the final stretch now with something we have been working on since May.
“We would like to thank everyone involved in getting these mouth-watering fixtures lined up and assisting Great Britain with preparations for the World Championship.
“They are sure to be five fantastic games and it would be great to see thousands turn out in such a big year for the national side.”
Wednesday, 6th February: GB v Dinamo Riga – Coventry
Friday, 19th April: GB v Italy – Coventry
Saturday, 20th April: Italy v Hungary – Coventry
Sunday, 21st April: GB v Hungary – Milton Keynes
Saturday, 27th April: GB v Torpedo – Nottingham
Sunday, 28th April: GB v Torpedo – Sheffield
(Image permission: Dean Woolley)