Russell: My best moment in hockey

(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Two days on, you can hear the smile on the face of Great Britain coach Pete Russell after he dared to dream again.

We’ve seen Ben Davies’ goal over and over again.  We still cheer Jonathan Phillips racing on to the puck to defeat the Frenchman in that particular battle to set Davies up.  You couldn’t have scripted such a fairytale ending to what has undoubtedly been an overall lesson for his team.

And Russell was still revelling in what his undeniably and, in his own words, ‘the best moment he’s ever had.”

“It’s been a challenging tournament for sure, but it’s been something new and I learned a lot about how mentally tough you need to be to take the defeats we had,” he said.

“To go 3-0 down after losing in every other game previously then come in for a timeout, have a bit of chat then play the way they did in that last half hour, wow.  It’s sensational.

“I believed in the guys and that they could go and do it. I never doubted it and in the last four and a half years, they’ve helped me massively in my career and we’ve had some good times.

WATCH: The best of GB at the World Championships

“It was like climbing Everest and it’s the pinnacle and it’s the best moment I’ve ever had in hockey.”

“It’s the biggest one ever for me.  The championships, the gold medals are nothing compared to that and I’ve learned a lot personally, especially about staying positive, keeping going and sticking at it.

“We could have got negative and lost the group quickly, but we never and that was the message I had to keep reinforcing.”

It’s been nothing but success for the Scot for the national team since taking over from Doug Christiansen in 2014, leading GB to two silver medals, two golds and now keeping a spot at ice hockey’s top table for another year.

His players enjoyed the kind of limelight they’ve never seen before as they can look forward to taking part again.

WATCH: One incredible night…

But Russell, who is leaving the Elite League for DEL2 side Freiburg himself, has backed some of his stars, who performed so well for him in Slovakia, are worthy of big moves abroad, if the opoportunities come for them.

He added: “Monday was the peak end and I think the other games helped to make us a better hockey team.  We managed to find a level that we’ve never found before and they were fantastic.

“Ben Bowns saw a lot of rubber and he handled the limelight well, but I don’t know what will happen with the guys and there may be opportunities for them elsewhere on the back of these championships.

“It’s up to them of course, but I know people have been impressed with the guys and the way they’ve carried themselves.

“I’m no agent, but I feel they deserve it when you consider these teams.  They were out of this world some of them and I’d never seen anything like it before.”

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