Team Great Britain at the 2017 WBHF World Championship – Day 1

The first day of the World Ball Hockey Federation (WBHF) World Championship 2017 has come to a close, and I have to admit, it was one hell of an exciting day. From the rouse of being in the Czech Republic, to the high-intensity ball hockey on display, to the exceptional pageantry of the opening ceremonies, everything has begun to feel very real. These teams are at a world class tournament, and as soon as the games started, you could tell that had sunk in. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the members of the BHi Great Britain Heritage Team since travels began early Thursday afternoon, but watching them play as a unit in the rink was something else entirely. There’s no doubt they came here to win, and their victory against Team Europe on the first day set a precedent and let everyone know what they’re made of. One moment in particular had the crowd in complete silence, when Brandon Dymond collided with a player from Team Europe. They crashed into each other in the air like two 777’s on a collision course. This earned Dymond a penalty, but sent the message that Team Great Britain Heritage isn’t here to mess around.

From the outset, Team Great Britain’s game against Team Euroupe could have gone either way; Europe is a team of very strong players. There was a lot of back and forth during the first period, and even watching from the stands, you could feel tensions rising. Speaking to the players after the win, it’s clear that nerves were at an all time high during the early parts of the game. The team wasn’t about to let them get in their way though as, from a spectator’s standpoint, everyone looked very natural. After Craig Wood scored the first goal of the game in the first period, some of the nerves started to melt away, and the team was firing on all cylinders.

By the third period, Team Great Britain was up 4-0 on Europe with goals from Andrew Jegg, Travis Parkin, and Alex Murdock, and the team showed no signs of slowing down. After two more incredible goals from Iain Downes and Troy Minor, a recovery from Team Europe seemed unlikely. Team Great Britain ended up winning with a score of 6-0 thanks not only to the players who scored goals, but to the incredible support showcased by players Like Andrew Wagner, McKenzee MacQueen, and the rest of the team. It really is something to see when a team like this works as a well oiled machine, and the players feed off each other so well.

Getting to know the team on a personal level has been terrific. These guys are really a great group, and they’ve been nothing but welcoming to, essentially, a complete outsider. Watching them play, though, is amazing. The bonding they’ve done since leaving this past Thursday has helped immensely in their communication during the games, and will take them a long way during the Championship. The first game is in the bag, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come from the ensuing days.

Current Standings:

Men A

Canada

GP:1
W:1
L:0
OT:0

Czech

GP:1
W:1
L:0
OT:0

Russia

GP:1
W:0
L:1
OT:0

Slovakia

GP:1
W:0
L:1
OT:0

Men B

USA

GP:1
W:1
L:0
OT:0

Great Britain

GP: 1
W:1
L:0
OT:0

Europe

GP:1
W:0
L:1
OT:0

Hungary

GP:1
W:0
L:1
OT:0

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