We can surprise the world, says Sheffield Steelers Great Britain Ice Hockey star
Steelers' forward Robert Dowd believes the experience Great Britain gained from the 2019 World Championship in Slovakia will be vital in this year’s tournament.
After promotion from Division 1 Group A in 2018, GB secured their top-flight status as they came from 3-0 down to beat France 4-3 in overtime in their final game.
This year, GB start the tournament against Russia on Saturday before matches against Slovakia Denmark, Belarus, Sweden, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
And Dowd believes he and his team mates can build on what they achieved last time around.
"Everyone took so much from the World Championship in Slovakia in 2019,” said the Sheffield winger.
“It really opened our eyes to what playing at this level is all about.
“We all felt we gave a good account of ourselves but, at the same time, we knew we could do better.”
GB started the tournament with a 3-1 defeat by Germany, followed by losses to Canada (0-8), Denmark (0-9), USA (3-6), Finland (0-5) and Slovakia (1-7).
In the dramatic final game against France, Dowd started GB’s comeback before goals from Mike Hammond and Robert Farmer ensured the game was level - and Ben Davies won it in overtime.
“By and large we were pretty content with our performances, but the Denmark game was probably the exception when it just a bad night at the office
“We went to the top level and we competed. We played some of the best nations in the world and we certainly weren’t embarrassed.
“It was such a special feeling to stay up and now we want to build on that and make further strides.
“It’s a tough group once again. At his level, every single game is tough but we are looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s great to face different teams this year with Russia, Belarus, Czech Republic and Switzerland in our group.
“We now know we belong at this level and even though there’s no relegation this year, it’s important we don’t let our guard down.
“We want to impress on the world’s biggest ice hockey stage and I believe we can spring a few surprises again.”