Russell names squad for GB game against Dinamo Riga

Great Britain head coach Pete Russell has named a 26-man squad for next month’s international challenge game against Dinamo Riga.

The prestigious encounter with the top-class KHL side takes place at the Skydome in Coventry on Wednesday, 6th February (7.30pm).

It’s the first of five games for GB ahead of the World Championship tournament in Slovakia during May.

Nottingham Panthers ‘D’ man Tim Billingsley and Coventry Blaze forward Ben Lake are named in a GB squad for the first time.

Russell said: “This game will be a great start to our preparations for the World Championship in Kosice in May.

“We want to give as many players as possible the chance to impress and this game will just be the start of the process.

“We have left out some experienced hockey players for this camp and opened the door for others to stake a claim – and also gain valuable experience at the highest level.

“Riga are a KHL organisation and it will be a massive test for us, but I know the players will be excited for the challenge.

“The truth is we have to learn play against high speed as we are going to be have to be able to handle this in Pool A.

“For me, getting up to that speed and speed of thought will be a the biggest challenge for us, but what a great test in Riga to face those qualities.

“We have some big decisions to make before the end of April, but we have this every year.

“It is not often we get the chance to meet during the season, so we will make the most of it ahead of a very exciting opportunity for GB ice hockey.”

GB SQUAD

Netminders

Ben Bowns – Cardiff Devils
Jackson Whistle – Sheffield Steelers

Defence

Tim Billingsley – Nottingham Panthers
Dallas Ehrhardt – Manchester Storm
Mark Garside – Belfast Giants
Steve Lee – Nottingham Panthers
Evan Mosey- Cardiff Devils
Ben O’Connor – Sheffield Steelers
David Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Mark Richardson – Cardiff Devils
Zach Sullivan – Glasgow Clan
Paul Swindlehurst – Belfast Giants

Forwards

Ollie Betteridge – Nottingham Panthers
Jordan Cownie – Dundee Stars
Ben Davies – Guildford Flames
Robert Dowd – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Farmer – Nottingham Panthers
Luke Ferrara – Coventry Blaze
Mike Hammond – Manchester Storm
Lewis Hook – Belfast Giants
Robert Lachowicz – Nottingham Panthers
Ben Lake – Coventry Blaze
Ciaran Long – Manchester Storm
Matthew Myers – Cardiff Devils
Brett Perlini – Nottingham Panthers
Jonathan Phillips – Sheffield Steelers