By Emily Laycock

The opening game of the 2024 World Championship for Great Britain is just one day away with forward Cole Shudra ready to make his mark on the biggest stage against the world’s number one ranked side Canada.

After receiving his first three international caps during the Olympic Qualifiers in Cardiff in February, followed by a Grand Slam-winning season with the Sheffield Steelers, the 25-year-old is eager to get going.

Shudra is part of GB’s 25-man squad for the tournament and vying for a place on the 22-man gameday roster tomorrow.

He said: “Cardiff was great for me. It was a bit of an introduction to the team, the guys and how Pete likes to run the team. I think it was the perfect kind of warm-up for me to get going.

“We’re going to be playing against some of the best players in the world. I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we can make something happen.”

Great Britain began their preparations for the World Championship with a two-week training camp in Nottingham before setting up base in Slany, Czechia with a warm-up game against Kazakhstan.

Shudra believes this time on the ice together prior to the tournament beginning is important, particularly after playing against a large majority of the squad during the Elite League season.

“It’s very important,” he said. “I think chemistry is a big part of the game and we’ve all gelled really well the past couple of weeks.

“I think we’ve nailed down our systems and it’ll be exciting to see how we do.”

A familiar face around camp for the Sheffield-born forward is Steelers and Great Britain captain, Robert Dowd, with whom he won three trophies this season.

Shudra added: “Obviously, you want to be a tight-knit group and I think this team’s been together for a very long time and it’s nice to come in as one of the newer guys and sort of have an easy transition in. Everyone’s been great and very helpful so far.”

With the second day of training complete in the 17,383-seater O2 Arena, all eyes now turn to Great Britain’s highly anticipated opening game against the Canadians.

“Of course there’s going to be nerves,” he said. “I think everyone gets nervous but it’s going to be fun to see where we match-up against them and see what we can do against them.”

Pete Russell’s side play their second game of the World Championship on Sunday against Finland followed by meetings with Switzerland, Denmark, Czech, Norway and Austria.