Great Britain begin their 2019 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships campaign today against Olympic silver-medalists from 2018, Germany.
Pete Russell’s side begin their first tournament in the top-level since 1994 at 1615 local time (1515 in the UK) in a game which is also live on FreeSports.
“The Slovakia game was a good lesson for us. We didn’t play badly, but it showed the guys where we need to be with the speed of the game and not over-complicate things. We’re probably in the toughest group we’ve ever seen, we have to take it a game at a time and not get too down on ourselves. We need to use each game to keep getting better within ourselves and learning as we go.” – Pete Russell (Head Coach, Great Britain)
“We’re approaching this game like most others. We’ll go out there to try to frustrate Germany, but also be prepared to work as hard as we can and battle on every shift. The one thing about this group is that they’ll never stop competing.” – Corey Neilson (Assistant Coach, Great Britain)
On the other side of the ice this afternoon will be the team that surprised almost everyone when they made the Olympic final in PyeongChang, and almost took the gold medal. Team Germany have been able to call up defenseman Korbinain Holzer (Anaheim), and forwards Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton) and Dominik Kahun (Chicago) from the NHL to their squad, which thereafter is made up of players plying their trade in the DEL. Finnish Head Coach Toni Söderholm in his rookie World Championships as the main man behind the bench, having previously been on the national team coaching staff for the U20 team in an assistant role.
“Our team is looking forward to the World Championships. There’s a good spirit in our camp and the players can’t wait to finally get going. We’ve been over tactical part of our games in the preparation cap, and now it’s down to focussing on every shift.” – Toni Söderholm (Head Coach, Germany)
Germany have made the Quarter-Finals in two of the last three years, with the most recent in 2017 being in their home tournament in Cologne.