No one dreamed Britain would be in such a position, least of all their coach, Alex Dampier, who said: 'My sole aim is to live in Pool B. If we drop a group we will have great difficulty in getting back as the former Soviet countries now play in that section and they want a quick return to top class competition.'
However, Dampier's Canadian-born captain, Chris Kelland, assessed the situation differently. 'We know it is going to be tough competition but we can compete at this level and are going to prove it,' he said. This is so and despite criticism of Dampier's inclusion of 10 dual nationals in the 23-man squad, his tactics have proved correct.
Britain play Bulgaria today and with possibly their toughest game to come, against the Netherlands tomorrow, the catalyst for them could be the comments of David Pickles, secretary of the British Ice Hockey Association. On television last week, he compared Britain's chances of reaching next year's Winter Olympics in Lillehammer with San Marino's hopes of winning the football World Cup.
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