Great Britain name ice hockey squad for World Championship
Great Britain ice hockey head coach Tony Hand has named his squad for the World Championship in Slovenia.
Nottingham Panthers have six men in the 23-man party including David Clarke and Matthew Myers, with Sheffield Steelers providing five of the squad.
Hand said: "We are taking a very competitive squad and there is great confidence that we can do well."
Defencemen Russ Cowley and Jonathan Weaver are both out of the party for the six-team tournament in April.
Cowley has not yet recovered from concussion, while Weaver has been forced to withdraw due to personal commitments.
"It is a disappointment to lose Russ and Jonathan, who are two very important D-men for the GB programme," Hand added.
Britain, who narrowly missed out on a gold medal and promotion last year, will face hosts Slovenia in their first Division 1B game on Sunday, 15 April.
GREAT BRITAIN FIXTURES
- Sunday 15th April 2012: Slovenia (1900 BST)
- Monday 16th April 2012: Austria (1530 BST)
- Wednesday 18th April 2012: Ukraine (1200 BST)
- Thursday 19th April 2012: Japan (1200 BST)
- Saturday 21st April 2012: Hungary (1530 BST)
They then face another former Pool A side Austria, followed by games against Hungary, Japan and Ukraine.
Hand, who has taken over from Coventry Blaze coach Paul Thompson, knows to expect the unexpected.
"Anything is possible in World Championship hockey and we cannot wait to get started," Hand concluded.
Ice Hockey UK also confirmed that Ian Turner has taken over as Great Britain team manager from Andy Buxton.
Buxton stood down at the same time as former GB head coach Paul Thompson, so the pair could concentrate their efforts on the Coventry Blaze.
Great Britain squad for World Championship
Netminders: Stephen Murphy (Belfast Giants), Geoff Woolhouse (Sheffield Steelers), Ben Bowns (Sheffield Steeldogs) - emergency netminder
Defence: Stephen Lee (Nottingham Panthers), Danny Meyers (Nottingham Panthers), Corey Neilson (Nottingham Panthers), David Phillips (SønderjyskE), Mark Richardson (Cardiff Devils), Mark Thomas (Sheffield Steelers),
Forwards: David Clarke (Nottingham Panthers), Robert Dowd (Belfast Giants), Robert Farmer (Coventry Blaze), Owen Fussey (Coventry Blaze), Mark Garside (Belfast Giants), Jason Hewitt (Sheffield Steelers), Phil Hill (Cardiff Devils), Jeff Hutchins (Dundee Stars), Robert Lachowicz (Nottingham Panthers), David Longstaff (Guildford Flames), Matthew Myers (Nottingham Panthers), Craig Peacock (Belfast Giants), Jonathan Phillips (Sheffield Steelers), Colin Shields (Sheffield Steelers),