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By Emily Laycock

Sean Norris made his World Championship debut on Wednesday in Great Britain’s game against Switzerland saying that the performance from the team shows they are “striving for something better”.

Despite it being a 3-0 defeat for Pete Russell’s side, it is a game that will remain with Norris for a long time as he stepped onto the ice for the first time in the tournament that is being played in Czechia – a country his family have a long-standing tradition with.

Norris, who made his international debut in February’s Olympic Qualifiers in Cardiff, said: “It was amazing to get the first one under the belt. It was a shame about the score, but the boys battled all night and the atmosphere was amazing.

“[There were] a lot of nerves if I’m honest. I guess once I had my first shift out my way, I just played hockey.

“I think it was 15,500 people there, playing against one of the best teams in the world. You can’t really compare.

“It was on another level and the atmosphere, like I said the nerves and the adrenaline got to me and then I just started playing.”

The 24-year-old was made to wait for his debut as he was left out of the 22-player squad for the opening two games that saw GB record back-to-back defeats against the world’s number one ranked side Canada and the number two seed Finland.

“I was itching when I found out I wasn’t playing in those two games,” continued Norris. “I just wanted to get on the ice and help the boys in any way that I could.

“Watching it, it was a lot faster than usual I must say, but yes I just wanted to get out there and contribute.”

The right-handed forward plays his hockey with Elite League side Belfast Giants, but even playing in the top flight of British ice hockey is a different world than the calibre of players making up the rosters of the nations competing at the World Championship.

He said: “Everyone can skate. I mean from the first line to the fourth line on every team at this tournament, everyone can skate, and that’s the biggest factor when you get to the higher levels – the better skaters are the better players.

“It was a lot faster, but once I adjusted, I was alright.”

It may have been another defeat for Great Britain against Switzerland, but it was an improved performance that can only be built upon as they go into their fourth game this afternoon against Denmark.

“I was amazed,” he said. “At the end of the game I was looking around on the bench and the boys were still sacrificing, blocking shots and to see that 3-0 down against Switzerland with a minute left, it just shows that we are striving for something better.

“Game by game we are getting better, I can see it now being part of the team and even when I was watching.”