Blaze pair selected by GB to face Italy & Hungary
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze pair Luke Ferrara and Ben Lake have been named as part of a 28-man squad for Great Britain's training camp next month and matches against Italy and Hungary.
The forward duo each scored in GB's last outing against KHL side Dinamo Riga, played in front of more than 3,500 fans at the Skydome Arena in February.
Following the games against Italy and Hungary, the GB roster will be cut to 25 for back-to-back games against KHL side Torpedo and this squad will go on to represent GB at the World Championship in Slovakia in May.
Robert Dowd, Evan Mosey and Colin Shields return after missing February's international match against Riga because of injury.
There are recalls for Josh Batch, Liam Kirk, Thomas Murdy and Craig Peacock, while Brendan Connolly is named in a GB squad for the first time.
Great Britain play Italy in the Skydome on Friday 19th April (7:30pm) and meet Hungary in Planet Ice Milton Keynes on Sunday 21st April (2pm).
The following weekend will see the visit of Torpedo to the UK, with GB going head-to-head with the KHL Eastern Conference side in the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Saturday 27th April (7pm) and at the Fly DSA Arena Sheffield on Sunday 28th April (4pm).
Russell said: "This has been the toughest group to select to date. There is a high amount of competition in all areas.
"It was important to keep our core who have taken this country forward and then look at all the players knocking on the door and putting their personal case forward.
"Experience is vital and has high importance. But, we as coaches, must always look at guys who are performing well and who we believe can add to the level.
"In the selection process we had a lot of guys competing in the same positions, so in many ways that’s even tougher but we believe and trust in our selections in the 28.
"The 28 will, of course, become the 25 and the players will decide that for us during the pre-tournament preparations.
"Personally and as a coaching team we would like to thank every player who was involved in the long list and, as always, the door is never shut in the future for many of the bubble guys and the up-and-coming talent.
"We all will now looking forward to finishing our club seasons and look forward to getting together in April and then live the dream of heading to Pool A in Slovakia."
GB will play in the top flight of world ice hockey for the first time since 1994 and are in Group A in Kosice, with games taking place at the Steel Arena.
GB and Germany go head to head on Saturday 11th May, before Britain face Canada on Sunday 12th May. After a rest day, Great Britain meet Denmark on Tuesday 14th May before facing USA on Wednesday 15th May.
Finland are GB’s opponents on Friday 17th May, while Russell’s side meet hosts Slovakia on Saturday 18th May. Britain complete their group campaign against France on Monday 20th May.
Ben Bowns - Cardiff Devils
Thomas Murdy - Cardiff Devils
Jackson Whistle - Sheffield Steelers
Josh Batch - Cardiff Devils
Tim Billingsley - Nottingham Panthers
Dallas Ehrhardt - Manchester Storm
Mark Garside - Belfast Giants
Steve Lee - Nottingham Panthers
Evan Mosey - Cardiff Devils
Ben O’Connor - Sheffield Steelers
David Phillips - Sheffield Steelers
Mark Richardson - Cardiff Devils
Ollie Betteridge - Nottingham Panthers
Brendan Connolly - Glasgow Clan
Ben Davies - Guildford Flames
Robert Dowd - Sheffield Steelers
Robert Farmer - Nottingham Panthers
Luke Ferrara - Coventry Blaze
Mike Hammond - Manchester Storm
Liam Kirk - Peterborough Petes
Robert Lachowicz - Nottingham Panthers
Ben Lake - Coventry Blaze
Ciaran Long - Manchester Storm
Matthew Myers - Cardiff Devils
Craig Peacock - Glasgow Clan
Brett Perlini - Nottingham Panthers
Jonathan Phillips - Sheffield Steelers
Colin Shields - Belfast Giants