Ice hockey: GB will face some star players in Lithuania test, says Ben Bowns

Ben Bowns
Ben Bowns
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South Yorkshire-born Netminder Ben Bowns believes Lithuania will provide Great Britain with a stern test ahead of next month’s World Championship in Budapest.

GB host Lithuania in Milton Keynes on Saturday 14th April (7pm) in an international challenge game before the two sides meet the following day on Sunday 15th April in Coventry’s Skydome (5:15pm).

Since 2007, the two sides have met six times in World Championship action with three wins each, although GB have won the last two encounters, including last year in Belfast on their way to promotion to Division 1 Group A.

“We always have good games against Lithuania and make no mistake about it they will be a tough opposition,” said the Cardiff Devils netminder, originally from Swinton.

“We may have won the last two matches but they gave us no end of problems in 2015 in Eindhoven.

“They have a great goalie and some star names on the roster who can really hurt you if you let down your guard.

“They got a deserved bronze medal in Belfast and they will no doubt be looking to improve on that this year.”

Lithuania are hosting the Division 1 Group B tournament on home ice in Kaunas at the end of next month at the same time as GB will be making their return to their second tier of the World Championship structure.

“The boys are already talking about Budapest and it will be great to come up against some top-class nations,” continued Bowns.

“There will be competition for places throughout the squad to make the final roster and that’s a healthy situation to be in.”