Manchester Phoenix and Great Britain coach Tony Hand will lead the national team against an Import Select side in a warm-up game ahead of February’s Winter Olympic qualifying tournament in Latvia.
Hand’s side reached the final qualifying phase after winning a round-robin competition in Japan last month. GB lost in a shootout to South Korea but bounced back with victories over Romania and the hosts to record the biggest achievement for British ice hockey since the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics.
Team GB will now travel to Latvia in the new year for another four-team tournament involving the hosts, France and Kazakhstan, with a place at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, up for grabs.
Great Britain will take on the Import Select team, which will be made up of overseas players from both the English Premier League and the top-tier Elite League, on Tuesday 5 February at Ice Sheffield with face-off at 7.30pm.
Commenting on the game, Hand said: “This will be good way to build up to such an important tournament with the Winter Olympics in sight.
“We don’t often get chance to have much preparation for a tournament, so this game will test us ahead of the qualification in Latvia.”
Andy French, general secretary of Ice Hockey UK, added: “I like to thank Ice Sheffield for hosting this game and the various clubs across the UK who will be sending players.”
Tickets for game will cost £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. To buy tickets click here.
Game-worn jerseys from the import team will be auctioned.
In other news, Team GB U20s, who played Manchester Phoenix last week in an exhibition game, were narrowly lost to Ukraine 2-1 in a shootout in their first game of the World Championship. The team’s next game is today against Poland.
By Andy Jowett