GB prepared for Croatia test

David Clarke says there is no room for error as Great Britain get ready to embark on their latest World Championship campaign.

GB begin their Division 1B tournament on Sunday when they come up hosts Croatia in the six-team group.

The Nottingham Panthers forward said: “We’ve had good preparation, but to be honest there is no room for error.

“That first game is huge and it sets the tone for the tournament. It is important we come out of that with a good result.

“We’ve talked about it and had meetings. The coaching staff have drilled that into us. It is just about being prepared and ready to go from day one.

“It’s a hard week – five games in seven days – but there is a lot on the line. We have to be ready to get something from day one.

“Croatia are going to be a big force in this tournament and we just have to be prepared.”

Coventry Blaze forward Ashley Tait believes his hunger to succeed is as big as ever as he prepares to play in his 17th World Championship.

Tait, who turns 41 in August, said: “I think my hunger now is even more so than that first World Championship.

“At that tournament I don’t think I was aware of what I was getting myself into.

“Over the years you appreciate the chances more and especially after not travelling last year. It gave me something to go at this year and I was determined to make people take notice again.”

“We have a large group of players who have been together a while now. I think you can see that every time we get together. Everybody has grown together over the years as well.

“Then the younger guys are coming through and it is important for them to get a feel of what it is about.”

Manchester Storm defenseman David Phillips thinks two training sessions a day have really helped GB prepare for the tournament.

“We get to work on our special teams, our powerplay and the penalty kill,” said Phillips.

“We’ve taken huge strides in the last week and you can just see with the practices since arriving here – we’ve come a long way since day one last week.

“The good thing about this side is that it has great team spirit. There is great competition but there is also good camaraderie.

“Every time we are on the ice, we enjoy ourselves but we are also working hard.

We are going fast-paced, high-tempo and with a smile on our faces – and that is exactly what you want.”

(Image permission: David Clarke – Karl Denham; Ashley Tait & David Phillips – IceHockeyMedia)

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