GB name squad for Olympic pre-qualifiers

Great Britain Head Coach Pete Russell has named his squad for next month’s Olympic Pre-Qualification tournament in Cortina.

GB take on hosts Italy, as well as Netherlands and Serbia, in the four-team tournament from 11th to 14th February 2016.

The winners will go through to the final stage of qualifying ahead of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea in 2018.

Seventeen of the squad who won a silver medal at the 2015 World Championship (Division 1B) in Netherlands are named on the roster.

Stephen Murphy, Steve Lee, David Clarke and Matty Davies return after injury, while there’s a recall for Ben Davies.

Russell said: “The qualifiers a are very short format and we have no time to be experimenting at this stage.

“We have selected a large part of last year’s silver-medal team and rightly so, as they were brilliant on and off the ice.

“From this approach we now already have a large core who know the philosophy and a large core who have shown such great togetherness and passion for our great country.

“We have now been very fortunate to be able to add Stephen Murphy, Stevie Lee, David Clarke, Ben Davies and Matty Davies into the group. All these guys will add to our depth of quality on the ice and also off it.

“It’s a very exciting experience and a very tough challenge that awaits us in Cortina and we all can’t wait to get started.

“We have three goals. Goal one – do what it takes to win the first game. Goal two – do what it takes to win the second game and goal three – then do what it takes to win the third game.

“I guess it’s like a new season for GB and we must come together with the same mind set, work ethic, and fantastic team unity we showed in Netherlands last year.”

GB SQUAD

Netminders

Ben Bowns – Cardiff Devils
Stephen Murphy – Belfast Giants

Defensemen

Josh Batch – Cardiff Devils
Steve Lee – Nottingham Panthers
Ben O’Connor – Sheffield Steelers
David Phillips – Manchester Storm
Mark Richardson – Cardiff Devils
Paul Swindlehurst – Nottingham Panthers
Jonathan Weaver – Telford Tigers

Forwards

Jonathan Boxill – Belfast Giants
David Clarke – Nottingham Panthers
Russell Cowley – Coventry Blaze
Ben Davies – Braehead Clan
Matty Davies – Manchester Storm
Robert Dowd – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Farmer – Nottingham Panthers
Matt Haywood – Braehead Clan
Robert Lachowicz – Nottingham Panthers
Matthew Myers – Nottingham Panthers
Craig Peacock – Belfast Giants
Jonathan Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Colin Shields – Belfast Giants

(Image permission: IceHockeyMedia)

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