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GB Ice Hockey Team


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#1 nadera78

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

Taking part in the final qualifying event for the Olympics this week. First game today against the hosts, and favourites, Latvia, then games against France and Kazakhstan to follow. All three of those nations being ranked higher than us suggests we have little chance of progressing to Sochi in 2014 but I'm certain the boys will be giving it absolutely everything.

The Latvians have a squad stacked full of players from the excellent Russian KHL, but we've got a few decent players ourselves. I'm sure we'll give a good account of ourselves.

Tonights game is live on ESPN at 17.30 this evening.
"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

#2 gingerjon

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

Good luck to our Brits. Heroic defeat is probably the best we can hope for but I'll try and catch this later.
Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#3 gingerjon

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:02 AM

Also: live coverage on Five Live Sports Extra.
Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#4 nadera78

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Good luck to our Brits. Heroic defeat is probably the best we can hope for but I'll try and catch this later.


Yes it is a difficult proposition. But we live in hope.
"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

#5 flyingking

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:11 PM

30 mins to face off against Latvia. Game is on ESPN and i will be tweeting updates @flyingking2 from the arena. Lots of TeamGB fans in Riga and earlier in the day,they lent their support to Kazakhstan who beat the French by 3 goals to 2. The Latvians start favourites but I am sure the Britsih team wearing the Lion Union Jack on their blue shirts will do us proud.
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#6 gingerjon

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

Not the best start for GB!
Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#7 gingerjon

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

Impressed by the number of Brits in the crowd.
Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#8 nadera78

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

2-1 down at the end of the first, but playing well when we put the puck in their end and working hard, forcing them to make mistakes. They've had chances, of course they have they're a good team, but so have we. Need to stay out of the penalty box though. I'm enjoying this.
"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

#9 gingerjon

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:12 PM

ESPN keeping it all nice and positive.
Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#10 nadera78

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

6-2 final score, and a fiar reflection of the game. The last period was very one-sided, with the tired GB players giving away too many penalties and the smooth Latvians giving an excellent example of East European ice hockey - smooth passing, patience and clinical finishing when opportunities arose. Enjoyable game though, and it's France tomorrow which should be a closer game.
"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

#11 Wolford6

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:06 PM

Never been to a game. Always wanted to.

Under Scrutiny by the Right-On Thought Police


#12 marklaspalmas

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

Do GB have any NHL players?

 

You Can't Buy Team Spirit

 

 

 

 


#13 longboard

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:21 PM

Things are on the slide.

#14 D9000

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:53 AM

Do GB have any NHL players?


No - only one Brit has ever signed for an NHL franchise, current GB coach and British hockey legend Tony Hand, and he came back very quickly after getting homesick. The current squad is much lighter on Canadians than in previous eras, which is a sign of hope for the future, but for now I think this is far as they go - and all credit to them for making it to here.

#15 flyingking

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

Realistically GB were never going to win against Latvia. Their players are drawn from the UK's Elite league which is a greatly inferior competition to the Kontinental Hockey League which is Europe's top competition and in which Riga has a team. The team gave it their best shot and there is no disgrace losing to a quality team. The British fans were magnificent and gave first class support to the team. At the end they sportingly showed their appreciation of the Latvian team and supporters by singing Latvia Latvia, a gesture received with Latvian applause. Latvia are clearly the best team in the group but British dreams are not over yet. Neither France or Kazazhstan played in a manner that suggests the British should fear them and I think that GB can pick up some points before the competition ends.
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#16 nadera78

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

Do GB have any NHL players?


No, we don't. Tony Hand, Colin Shields and Brett Perliini have all been drafted by NHL teams but none went on to play there. Hand certainly would have done if he'd stayed in Canada but came home instead. He'd have had a good career but he got homesick. Shields is a good player, very intelligent, but not quite good enough. Perlini is playing in one of the minor leagues but at the age of 22 doesn't look like he'll make that break through. His younger brother, Brendan, and cousin Scott Conway both look like very good prospects and are doing well in North American junior hockey. They're probably our best opportunities but it's incredibly difficult to make that final step up. All three were born here to Canadian fathers and played their junior hockey in this country. Liam Stewart (son of singer Rod and Rachel Hunter) is playing in Canada's top junior league but seems to be struggling this year. There are a few others dotted around the junior leagues / NCAA but they'll most likely all end up coming back here to play. The odds really are stacked against making it, even more so if you're British. Our kids just don't get enough time on the ice.

Interestingly for Rugby League fans, there are a couple of guys drafted by NHL clubs and playing in the AHL, the main feeder league to the NHL, who were born here but don't qualify for GB under the very stringent IIHF rules. Danny Taylor is a mid-twenties goalie who's probably missed his chance at the NHL, but Cody Payne is a young forward who might well make it. Both were born in GB but raised in the states and so have dual nationality meaning that under IIHF rules they would have to play two years in this country in order to qualify for GB. This is a hard and fast rule. Also, dual nationals who have turned out for one country but wish to switch to another have to complete four years in their new country. It's a shame because just adding those two would improve the team no end.

btw there have been many NHL players over the years who were born in the UK but raised in North America - Steve Thomas, Own Nolan and Byron Defoe being the most recent. Again, none of them would have been eligible for GB unless they'd come here to play first.
"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

#17 nadera78

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:52 PM

Just lost to the blooming French 4-2. More than a match for the froggies for 40 minutes, but the second period was disastrous. Complete lack of discipline and the entire team seemed to lose their heads. Fought our way back into it superbly in the third only to gift them a goal when we had them on the back foot. Very disappointing outcome from a game that we played so well in for two periods.
"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

#18 flyingking

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

When playing at the highest level you cannot afford to be a man short at any time. Britain's indiscipline has led to six penalties from which a goal was conceded, but we have been matching both opponents when playing 5 on 5. Hopefully they will learn from this and play smarter at the division 1 World Championships in April.
just seen the best match of the tournament with Latvia storming to a two goal within the first 3 minutes (leading to an immediate benching for the unfortunate netminder!), then being pegged back before capitalising on a defensive howler early in the third. Kazakhstan pulled the goalie in the last minute and did see the puck cross the line, only for the video referee to rule after an agonising delay that it had done so with the assistance of a Kazakh skate and so NO GOAL. Latvia will progress to Sochi if they tie against the French on Sunday afternoon.
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#19 Bleep1673

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

We didn't do it.
P3 L3

0-6 to Kazakhstan in our final game means we won't be going to Sochi
Swinton RLFC est 1866 - Supplying England with players when most of your clubs were in nappies

#20 flyingking

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:33 PM

Latvia got the ticket to the Winter Olympics, but only after a tense final game where the berth to Sochi changed hands five times. Both Kazakhstan and France at various times were in pole position for the trip to Russia and the outcome only was known once the final second had elapsed- Latvia getting the point they needed with a 2-2 draw. For GB it was very much a learning experience, as this is the only opportunity they will get to play opponents of this quality- that is unless they can earn promotion to the top level of world hockey this April in Budapest.
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