Goaltender Stephen Murphy is battling with Ben Bowns for the Great Britain starting role.

Ben Bowns And Stephen Murphy Compete For GB Starting Role

Ben Bowns and Stephen Murphy go head-to-head in their quest to be Great Britain’s starting netminder.

Cardiff Devils goalie Bowns and Murphy, who plays for Belfast Giants, are in the GB team for their World Championship group matches.

The six-team tournament, at the SSE Arena in Belfast, starts on Sunday when Britain play Croatia. They also face Estonia, Lithuania and Netherlands before going head-to-head with Japan on the last day.

Bowns and Murphy will both hope to be named starting goaltender against Croatia, whose team includes Cardiff Devils forward David Brine.

“Everyone is excited to be playing on home ice this year, it will be something special,” said Murphy.

“The home crowd can be important. UK hockey fans are passionate and that is obvious throughout a league season.

“Then there’s the GB Barmy Army who support us across the world and are like an extra man out on the ice for us.

“We can achieve something special here, but we know we have five tough games ahead of us.

“There are no easy games at this level but hopefully we can perform throughout the week to set us a chance of winning the gold medal and promotion.”

GB team:

Netminders: Ben Bowns (Cardiff Devils), Stephen Murphy (Belfast Giants), Thomas Murdy (Cardiff Devils, reserve).

Defence: Mark Garside (Belfast Giants), Steve Lee (Nottingham Panthers), Ben O’Connor (Sheffield Steelers), David Phillips (Sheffield Steelers), Mark Richardson (Cardiff Devils), Paul Swindlehurst (Manchester Storm), Jonathan Weaver (Telford Tigers).

Forwards: Brendan Brooks (Fife Flyers), David Clarke (Nottingham Panthers), Russell Cowley (Coventry Blaze), Robert Dowd (Sheffield Steelers), Sam Duggan (Orebro, Sweden), Robert Farmer (Nottingham Panthers), Robert Lachowicz (Nottingham Panthers), Evan Mosey (Rockford Ice Hogs, USA), Matthew Myers (Cardiff Devils), Craig Peacock (Braehead Clan), Jonathan Phillips (Sheffield Steelers), Colin Shields (Belfast Giants), Liam Stewart (Coventry Blaze).

World Championship fixtures in Belfast:

Sunday, April 23: 12.30pm Netherlands v Japan; 4pm GB v Croatia; 7.30pm Estonia v Lithuania.

Monday, April 24: 12.30pm Japan v Croatia; 4pm Lithuania v Netherlands; 7.30pm GB v Estonia.

Wednesday, April 26: 12.30pm Japan v Estonia; 4pm Netherlands v Croatia; 7.30pm GB v Lithuania.

Friday, April 28: 12.30pm Lithuania v Japan, 4pm Croatia v Estonia; 7.30pm.

Saturday, April 29: 12.30pm Lithuania v Croatia; 4pm Estonia v Netherlands; 7.30pm GB v Japan.

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