GB Men Start Olympics in Italy

Great Britain Men will begin their 2018 Winter Olympics qualification bid in February 2016 in Italy.

Joining Italy and Great Britain in Group G are Netherlands, plus a team from the preliminary qualifying section.

The group winners progress through to the final qualifers in September 2016 in a bid to reach PyeongChang in 2018.

The venue in Italy for the four-team group is yet to be confirmed, but the tournament will run from 11th to 14th February 2016.

GB head coach, Pete Russell, said: “This is an exciting time to learn the beginning of our Olympic journey.

“To be involved in any sort of Olympic event is a massive honour and this will be a very special journey for us.

“To be heading to Italy is a good situation for us. It’s a lovely country and we don’t have far to travel.

“We face tough competition in the shape of the Italians, Netherlands and one other qualifier.

“But we will come ready to compete and the guys will be right up for the challenges that await us.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to develop further again as a group off the back of our fine World Championship performances in April.”

The seeding for the 2018 Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament will be determined next year and qualification will be played in the 2016-2017 season.