Tait Replaces Dowd In GB Squad

Blaze forward receives call-up

Coventry Blaze forward Ashley Tait [pictured] has been called up to the Great Britain squad for the Olympic Pre-Qualifiers after Sheffield Steelers forward Robert Dowd had to withdraw because of injury.


Tait is Great Britain's most-capped player and has 102 GB appearances to his name.


GB travel to Cortina next month and will face hosts Italy, as well as Netherlands and Serbia, with the group winners progressing to Final Qualifying later in the year.


Head coach Pete Russell, said: "When we heard the news yesterday that Robert [Dowd] couldn't travel, it was a major blow.


"He is a top player, top person and is one of our captains. Hopefully, Robert will be back soon and continue to build on the strong season his is having.


"In Robert's place we have called Ashley Tait back into the squad and we are delighted he is coming.


"He has bags of experience, is a right shot who can play in all situations and is in good shape as always.


"Ash has been performing very well this season for Coventry.


"He was hungry to play for GB and he just can't wait to pull that jersey on in Italy. We expect him to have a big tournament for us."


Tait, who has scored four points in nine previous Olympic Qualifying games, added: "I am excited at the prospect of playing for GB again.


"I feel so disappointed for Dowdy and the team will certainly miss him.


"It is always a honour to pull on the GB shirt and I am itching to get on the ice in Cortina next month."


Photograph courtesy of Colin Lawson & article courtesy of Ice Hockey UK



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