Coventry Blaze duo David Clements and Jordan Hedley will feature at the 2021 IIHF World Championships for Team GB after being selected for the senior roster for the first time.
Hedley, 24, and Clements, 26, join Coventry teammates Luke Ferrara and Ross Venus in the squad, with Elite Series draftees Sam Duggan and Mike Hammond also included in Pete Russell’s national team.
In comments to The Boar, Blaze head coach Danny Stewart heaped praise on Hedley and Clements following their first call-ups:
“David, over the pandemic, has had the right habits, the right mentality.
“Instead of getting down and feeling sorry for himself that we weren’t playing, he continued to work, continued to stay in shape and, and push for next season, and Hedley’s the same.
“I mean, Hedley is that guy that stays on after practice and he works hard… he works for every puck and he just gets better every year.”
Team GB face the International Athletes from Russia in their opening game of the World Championships on 22 May in Riga, Latvia.
Based in the Olympic Sports Centre, Team GB were drawn into Group A alongside Russia, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Team GB secured promotion to the top pool of the World Championships in 2018, upsetting Hungary in Budapest to enter the top-flight for the first time since 1994.
A year later, Pete Russell’s Lions staved-off relegation in equally spectacular fashion, defeating France 4-3 in overtime to prevent an immediate return to the second tier.
As with any Great Britain squad, the coaching staff had many difficult decisions to make concerning this year’s team
– Pete Russell
With the 2020 World Championships cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Great Britain’s opening game against Russia will see them return to the ice for the first time since Olympic Qualifiers in February 2020.
Russell said: “As with any Great Britain squad, the coaching staff had many difficult decisions to make concerning this year’s team.
“A number of core GB players are unavailable for selection and we will miss those players for sure, but I still feel we have some great depth across our roster. Once again, this is the pinnacle of any player’s career and it will be a massive honour for them to step onto the ice against some of the best teams in the world.”
“Much of this has been made possible by the Elite Series and I would like to thank the Elite League once again for their assistance and providing an opportunity for British players to get competitive hockey under their belt this season.”
Ben Bowns – Nottingham Panthers
Jordan Hedley – Coventry Blaze
Jackson Whistle – Nottingham Panthers
David Clements – Coventry Blaze
Dallas Ehrhardt – Manchester Storm
Mark Garside – Nottingham Panthers
Sam Jones – Sheffield Steelers
Evan Mosey – EHC Freiburg
Ben O’Connor – Sheffield Steeldogs
David Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Josh Tetlow – Nottingham Panthers
Paul Swindlehurst – Coventry Blaze
Ollie Betteridge – Nottingham Panthers
Brendan Connolly – Sheffield Steelers
Ben Davies – Manchester Storm
Robert Dowd – Sheffield Steelers
Sam Duggan – Coventry Blaze
Luke Ferrara – Coventry Blaze
Mike Hammond – Coventry Blaze
Lewis Hook – Nottingham Panthers
Liam Kirk – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Lachowicz – Nottingham Panthers
Ben Lake – Manchester Storm
Ciaran Long – Manchester Storm
Matthew Myers – Sheffield Steelers
Brett Perlini – Nottingham Panthers
Jonathan Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Ross Venus – Coventry Blaze