Dowd out to build on Slovakia survival

Robert Dowd wants to GB to use their Slovakia experience to build on in Latvia (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Great Britain forward Robert Dowd is keen for the team to build on their survival in the top group in the World Championships this year.

GB’s last-gasp win over France in 2019 is the stuff of legends as Pete Russell’s team dug deep to keep their place with the top nations in the world.

And the Sheffield Steelers forward reckons, other than one game, they really showed what they were all about, even if results didn’t go for them.

“Everyone took so much from the World Championship in Slovakia in 2019,” said Dowd. “It really opened our eyes to what playing at this level is all about.

“We all felt we gave a good account of ourselves but, at the same time, we knew we could do better.

“By and large we were pretty content with our performances, but the Denmark game was probably the exception when it just a bad night at the office.

“We went to the top level and we competed. We played some of the best nations in the world and we certainly weren’t embarrassed.

“It was such a special feeling to stay up and now we want to build on that and make further strides.”

Now, ahead of Saturday’s opening game against Russia, Dowd is looking forward to new challenges at the Riga Olympic Centre when GB will face different teams to those in Kosice.

And he insists no-one will be resting on their laurels with the threat of relegation removed due to the lower divisions not playing this year.

“It’s a tough group once again,” he added. “At his level, every single game is tough but we are looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s great to face different teams this year with Russia, Belarus, Czech Republic and Switzerland in our group.

“We now know we belong at this level and even though there’s no relegation this year, it’s important we don’t let our guard down.

“We want to impress on the world’s biggest ice hockey stage and I believe we can spring a few surprises again.”

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