Netminder Ben Bowns says playing in an Olympic tournament for Great Britain is a massive honour.
GB are currently in Cortina in Group G of the Olympic pre-qualifiers as they look to reach the Winter Olympics for the first time since 1948.
After yesterday’s 6-5 victory over Netherlands, Great Britain take on Serbia on Saturday before facing hosts Italy the following day.
“It is something very special to play in a tournament to try and qualify for the Olympics,” said Bowns (above).
“To represent your country at a World Championship is right up there, but this is something else. This is only the early stages of qualifying, but we have shown before we can compete with top nations.”
Forward Ben Davies, who will win his 12th international cap against Serbia, added: “This is an exciting tournament and something amazing to be a part of.
“Olympics are always very special, so to try and qualify for a Winter Olympics is something to cherish.
“We have a challenge ahead of us and we must not just turn up thinking we are fine. Serbia need to make a point after their defeat by Italy on Thursday.
“But if we stay focused and keep to the plan, we will be OK.”
Assistant Coach Tom Watkins also warned GB against complacency when they face Serbia despite their 8-0 defeat against Italy.
He said: “They are a little bit of an unknown quantity but we cannot underestimate them one bit.
“They will want to show they can compete at this level. Italy put a few goals past them on Thursday but they kept battling, which is credit to them.
“We just have to stay focused and make sure we do the little things right. Our attitude was good against Netherlands. Although we had things go against us at times, we dug deep.
“Finding a way to win was very important and it has given us the start we needed in the tournament.
“But we have to take it game by game and not get too ahead of ourselves. We had a good morning up the mountain and that was great to get away from the rink.
“Now we can focus on the job in hand and look forward to two more huge games.”
(Image permission: IceHockeyMedia)