Russell: Warm-up games will be excellent preparation

Head coach Pete Russell says Great Britain’s five international challenge games in the UK next year will be excellent preparation for the World Championship tournament in Slovakia.

Next May, GB will make their first return to ice hockey’s elite level since 1994 and their training camp will include five top-class international games.

Britain will play KHL side Riga in Coventry on Wednesday, 6th February.

Russell’s side will then face Italy in Coventry on Friday, 19th April, before meeting Hungary in Milton Keynes two days later.

GB beat both sides in last season’s gold-medal campaign in Budapest, including the dramatic game against the hosts when Robert Farmer scored with 10 seconds remaining to secure the point they needed for promotion.

Great Britain will play KHL team Torpedo in Nottingham on Saturday, 27th April, and at Sheffield the following day.

Further details, face-off times and ticket information will be announced shortly.

Russell said: “This is great line-up of games and really good preparation for the World Championship.

“The variety of opponents is excellent and is just the sort of games we need ahead of such a huge year for GB.

“The games against Italy and Hungary will bring back memories of when we dared to dream in Budapest.

“The matches against the KHL sides will be fantastic and it will be great to pit our wits against players from one of the top leagues in the world.”