Venus and Ferrara called up for GB
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze are proud to confirm that forwards Luke Ferrara and Ross Venus have been selected in the Team Great Britain squad for the IIHF Olympic Pre-Qualification Round 3 group stage which will take place from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th February at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
The Blaze pair and GB teammates will take on Hungary, Estonia and Romania over the weekend for a place in the next stage of the qualification tournament.
For more details and to buy tickets click here.
Ferrara, who leads the Elite league for goals (23) helped Great Britain to a World Championships Division 1A medal in 2017/18 before being a part of the squad who retained their top-flight World Championship status with a 4-3 overtime win over France last April.
Venus, meanwhile, last iced for the Great Britain senior team in 2015/16, scoring his first goal in the Division 1B World Championships before playing in the Pre-Qualification tournament of that same season.
The 25-year-old, who is celebrating his testimonial season with Coventry said, "It's been a while since I have been in the squad, but it has always been a goal to get back in. I am pleased that my hard work and performances have been rewarded with a spot for the pre-qualification tournament in what is already a special season for me. I'm really excited and honored to pull on the GB jersey again and with home advantage in Nottingham, we go into the tournament confident that we can make it to the next round."
Full GB squad
Ben Bowns - Cardiff Devils
Jackson Whistle - Nottingham Panthers
Josh Batch - Cardiff Devils
Dallas Ehrhardt - Manchester Storm
Travis Ehrhardt - Glasgow Clan
Steve Lee - Guildford Flames
Ben O’Connor - Sheffield Steelers
David Phillips - Sheffield Steelers
Mark Richardson - Cardiff Devils
Paul Swindlehurst - Belfast Giants
Ollie Betteridge - Nottingham Panthers
Brendan Connolly - Sheffield Steelers
Scott Conway - Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL)
Ben Davies - Guildford Flames
Robert Farmer - Lausitzer Fusche (DEL2)
Luke Ferrara - Coventry Blaze
Mike Hammond - Lausitzer Fusche (DEL2)
Ben Lake - Belfast Giants
Matthew Myers - Cardiff Devils
Brett Perlini - Nottingham Panthers
Jonathan Phillips - Sheffield Steelers
Ross Venus - Coventry Blaze
Head Coach Pete Russell said, “Picking this group was tough but in a good way, as there was serious competition for spots.
“The guys who we have added into the group are having really good seasons so far and we could not ignore their progress at this stage.
“In-season tournaments are a little different from the World Championship and the in-form guys can help us hit the ice with strong confidence levels.
“It’s a short preparation and only three games that await us, so we have to be ready both mentality and physically right from the start.
“Some really good players have not made the 22 and I am sure those guys will finish the season strong to look to force the way back into the World Championship group.
“But right now it’s about the challenge that awaits us all in Nottingham and it’s not a easy one.
“We will, as always, respect our opponents and be backed by our own fans as the home nation. What a great opportunity and experience awaits us all.”
World Championship warm-up games
GB will meet Poland on Friday 17th April 2020 (7:30pm) at the Skydome Arena in Coventry (buy tickets) before the two sides face each other in Cardiff’s Viola Arena the next day, Saturday 18th April 2020 (7pm).
Pete Russell’s side will then take-on Hungary in Coventry on Tuesday 21st April (7:30pm) (buy tickets), before going head-to-head at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham the following day, Wednesday 22nd April (7:30pm). GB will then move on to face Kazakhstan on Sunday 3rd May (5:30pm) in Milton Keynes ahead of the sold-out encounter with Canada two days later at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham (7:30pm).