Teenager Sam Duggan, who plays for Swedish club Orebro, is ready to enjoy one of the best ice hockey moments of his young life.
Reading-born Duggan, who played junior hockey for Bracknell before going to Sweden, has been called into Great Britain’s team for the World Championships.
“It’s going to be special,” says Duggan. “It has been a goal of mine since I was little to make this team.
“I have been fortunate enough to have success in Sweden and with GB junior teams and this ranks up there with my best experiences.”
The 6ft 1in Duggan, who can play centre or winger, scored 275 points for Bracknell at under-16 and under-18 levels, while he has also played for Great Britain’s youth team.
Now he is in the GB senior team for their World Championship group matches at the SSE Arena, Belfast. The six-team tournament starts on Sunday and Britain face promoted Netherlands, relegated Japan, Croatia, Estonia and Lithuania.
Head coach Peter Russell, a former director of player development for Cardiff Devils, is preparing his GB team for their first World Championship match against Croatia.
They include Devils forward David Brine and he will come up against Cardiff team-mates Ben Bowns, Thomas Murdy, Mark Richardson and Matthew Myers.
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.
Elite League news:
Belfast Giants have confirmed that player-coach Derrick Walser’s contract will not be extended into 2017-18 and he has left the club.
Goaltender Ervins Mustukovs has signed a new one-year deal with the Sheffield Steelers, while forward Mathieu Roy has a new two-year deal with the club.
The deadline for renewing Cardiff Devils season tickets is Monday May 1 (5pm). That is a hard deadline and all seats not renewed by then will go back on sale for new applications.