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Opinions & Interviews

8 Apr 2014

Belarus has a chance at the IIHF World Championship, Hanlon says

Belarus has a chance at the IIHF World Championship, Hanlon says

MINSK, 8 April (BelTA) – Head coach of the Belarusian national ice hockey team Glen Hanlon does not rule out a chance for Belarus’ decent performance at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. The coach made this statement as he talked to the media after the final training session of his team ahead of the friendlies that are due in Norway on 9 and 11 April as part of the European Ice Hockey Challenge tournament, BelTA has learnt.

When asked whether he and his team feel any kind of pressure, Glen Hanlon said: “There is pressure as there is a chance. If there was no chance, there would be no pressure. This pressure is an excitement for me, an excitement for the players.”

In his words, forward of the Belarusian national team Andrei Kostitsyn will not play in the coming games due to a back problem. Mikhail Grabovsky and Geoff Platt will not play as for the both the 2013/14 NHL and KHL seasons are not over yet. Goaltender Andrei Mezin and forward Alexei Kalyuzhny will stay in Minsk to be ready for the next games.

Among those who will not take part in the games in Norway is also forward Konstantin Koltsov (Atlant Moscow Region, KHL), forward Sergei Demagin (Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, KHL), forward Sergei Kostitsyn (Avangard Omsk, KHL), Dinamo Minsk forwards Andrei Stas and Alexander Kitarov.

Once the team is back from Norway, it will be joined in the training camp by players from HC Yunost Minsk and HC Neman Grodno who completed the final series of the Belarsuian Extraleague Open Championship.

“The games in Norway are our first stage of preparations for the championship. We hope to have all our team, including perhaps Geoff Platt, in Grodno,” Glen Hanlon said. Friendlies against Switzerland will take place in Grodno, Belarus on 17 and 18 April.

The Belarusian team will hold seven matches ahead of the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship which is due in Minsk on 9-25 May. Six friendlies will take place as part of the European Ice Hockey Challenge in April and one game will be held against Denmark in May.

The schedule of Belarus’ national ice hockey team friendlies is as follows:

9, 11 April. Norway vs Belarus (2 games on the road);

17, 18 April. Belarus vs Switzerland (2 home games);

24, 26 April. Denmark vs Belarus (2 games on the road);

3 May. Belarus vs Denmark (at home).

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