It’s been 24 hours since Ben Bowns went viral as the clip of him stopping USA’s Jack Hughes in a one-on-one situation during Great Britain’s 6-3 loss and he’s still getting his head around the attention.
It’s fair to say the Cardiff Devils netminder has become something of a star of the show at the World Championships with his performances, despite GB failing to register a win so far in Kosice.
With speculation rife over where he could go next season on the back of his impressive displays between the pipes, Bowns admits the thought of moving is one he’s considered and would be open to any possible opportunities.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play abroad, but you’re hit with the British tag,” he said. “Even just making it as a British goalie in the Elite League is an achievement.
“It’s a big shop window to get yourself in, but being a goalie is the most important position. The skaters will tell you otherwise.
“It’s a position the teams will usually lock down first and perhaps there aren’t that many jobs out there, but if the right one were to come up, it’s something I would definitely consider.
“Right now, I’m not thinking about that. I’m focussed on helping us stay up in these Championships and give the guys a chance to win in every game. Apart from the Danish game, I like to think I’ve done that in this tournament.”
WATCH NOW: Bowns denies USA’s Jack Hughes
The save to deny Hughes has been played to death across various social media platforms, leaving fans and spectators agape at how he even pulled it off.
Bowns says it was borne out of determination to stop the Americans from having another goal to celebrate so soon after GB’s third goal in the game, a top shelf howitzer from Ben Davies.
He said: “He hit a shot and it hit me up near the throat area, but the rebound wasn’t controlled well by me, but when it gets up into that region, there’s not much you can do.
“I just thought to myself that I wasn’t letting them get another one after Benny had come out of the box and scored that awesome goal. It would have been a downer to concede another one. Luckily, it ended up right in my glove.”
With so much attention on him though, not to mention the experience of playing at the top level of the World Championships, it’s been a head-spinning experience for Bowns.
He’s loving the experience though and admits the extra media duties are a lot of fun, especially on realising how much he’s a man in demand, even if it is, as he puts it, ‘surreal’.
Bowns added: “It’s been a bit of whirlwind with the training camps and now the tournament, which started off with us against Germany and Canada. It was bit embarrassing against Denmark, but the bounce back against USA has made it worthwhile, but it’s been tough physically and mentally.
“It’s all been a bit crazy, but nice at the same time. I’m used to the exposure I get in the Elite League of course and the fans are big on social media so I get a lot of notifications if I do something right.
“I’m pleased to be getting a lot of positivity and I’ll gladly take it, but in the same way, if I don’t do so well, I’ll be criticised and I’ll take that as well.
“Another way it’s been crazy is the media side of things and I’ve done interviews with the likes of Slovakian TV, Swedish TV, I was even talking to a journalist from the New York Times. Plus I heard I appeared on BBC Breakfast.
“There’s tonnes of media outlets and plenty of cameras, so it’s been cool doing that as well. It’s nice to be recognised as a player they want to talk to, even if it is a little surreal.”
Attention turns to today when GB take on Finland in their fifth game, still looking for that first win and Bowns insists the team are keen to build on the USA performance and are more than up for it in Kosice.
He said: “I don’t think there are games that aren’t tough out here. Just when one finishes, you’re straight into another one and it’s all part of the challenge.
“We’ll do our best and you never know, anything can happen in this sport and hopefully we’re up for it and give another good account of ourselves.”