GB aiming to keep things tight in Zagreb

Defenseman Mark Richardson says Great Britain will need to be strong defensively if they are to be successful at the World Championship in Zagreb this week.

GB begin their Division 1B six-team tournament with a game against hosts Croatia on Sunday.

Britain will play five games in seven days, also coming up against Estonia, Lithuania, Romania and Ukraine.

“I think it will be important in this tournament that we play tight defensively,” said Richardson. “The squad is very strong and there are many very good players.

“I really feel the make up of this team is just right. We have the right amount of scoring, the right amount of offensive players. We have players in all areas.

“A lot of good players were left out of this team, right up until training camp. There were some very tough decisions for the coaching staff to make.”

Jonathan Phillips has urged his teammates to maintain their intensity ahead of Sunday’s opening game.

After arriving on Thursday GB have had three training sessions, something Phillips says the team have relished.

“I think the last week of training camp and the two games against Poland, the boys have enjoyed their time together,” said Phillips.

“There has been a longer camp this year and the boys are very excited for this tournament.

“We’re a hard working group and we like to be intense – we like to keep things at a high tempo.

“We know these tournaments are all about speed and quick puck movement. We try and simulate that in our training sessions and to succeed we need to do that.

“Things won’t change now we are here.”

(Image permission: Mark Richardson – IceHockeyMedia; Jonathan Phillips – Karl Denham)

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