Great Britain at massive odds to win maiden Ice Hockey World Championship in 2021 | British Ice Hockey

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Can GB followers rally the gamers one final time of their largest sport? (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Nearly a century has handed since Nice Britain gained their most up-to-date medal on the Ice Hockey World Championships, however the isle of underdogs will try the unthinkable in 2021.

Staff GB will compete in successive editions of the IIHF World Championships for the primary time since 1951. A 4-3 additional time comeback towards France within the 2019 event secured their place for the next yr earlier than the 2020 competitors was cancelled as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

British Ice Hockey introduced information of Pete Russell’s squad announcement earlier in April, with the pinnacle coach highlighting the mixture of in-form skills and future prospects current:

“As with every Nice Britain squad, the teaching employees had many troublesome choices to make regarding this yr’s staff.

“The squad has an excellent combination of expertise and incredible younger expertise, however I do wish to give a particular point out to 2 gamers – Joe Hazeldine and Josh Waller – who simply missed out.

“They’re thrilling prospects for the longer term and their day will come – and what I’ll say is that if anybody has to drag out, they are going to be on the aircraft.”

The worldwide contest wasn’t the one competitors shelved on account of the coronavirus, with the 2019-20 Elite Ice Hockey League reduce brief. 

The BBC reported on the present panorama of British ice hockey, with the 2020-21 EIHL season additionally cancelled because of restricted authorities funding. A four-team ‘Elite Sequence’ is near reaching its conclusion after the Nottingham Panthers turned the primary staff to e-book their place within the remaining, awaiting both the Sheffield Steelers or the Manchester Storm within the decider of the mini-tournament.

The subdued preparation amongst professionals could dampen Nice Britain’s possibilities even additional of their try and win a maiden World Championships. Staff GB may be discovered at odds as excessive as 1000/1 with most bookmakers, which is stage alongside Italy—whose finest outcome was a fourth-place end in 1953—as the most important value of any staff competing in Riga, Latvia.

FreeSports introduced on Thursday that it’ll broadcast every of Nice Britain’s Group A fixtures, with probably extra to come back if Russell’s aspect succeeds in advancing previous the opening spherical:

On the different finish of the betting odds desk, in accordance with British Gambler website, Russia will return to the World Championships as 9/4 favourites hoping to tighten their grip as probably the most profitable staff within the competitors’s historical past. 

The ‘Pink Machine’ hasn’t gained the event since 2014, however their subsequent crown will take them to a twenty eighth gold medal (although 22 of these have been gained because the Soviet Union). 

Canada come closest with 26 golds to their identify, and the perennial contenders shall be one other widespread decide with bettors, having gained back-to-back titles in 2015-16 earlier than ending as runners-up in 2017 and 2019.

Finland are the defending world champions after Jukka Jalonen guided them to a second gold beneath his cost within the final event (third gold total), and the Lions might shock as a darkish horse as they aim successive triumphs for the primary time of their historical past.

Nice Britain’s 82-year absence from the rostrum doesn’t bode properly for Russell & Co., who can be pleasantly shock in the event that they have been to crack the quarter-finals. Nonetheless, their probabilities of doing so on the again of a disjointed membership season look slim in a Group A lineup that additionally contains Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark and Belarus.



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