Phoenix hopefuls in GB in-line success

Wednesday, 6th April 2005

Manchester Phoenix trialists Brian Worrall and Mark Thomas are returning this weekend from a successful Great Britain campaign at In-Line World Cup tournament in Germany.

Both the Phoenix prospects starred for the national team as defenceman Mark Thomas tallied one goal and five assists in the five games while forward Brian Worrall weighed in with two goals and three assists playing on the teams top offensive unit.

Organised by the International Ice Hockey Federation, the tournament was staged in Nuremberg and Amberg, and saw the Great Britain team, captained by another Manchester player Nick Crawley who scored five goals and five assists, finish a very creditable fifth overall in the 16-team Division One with a three win-two loss record. The squad narrowly missed out on the semi-final stages with a loss to the old enemy in international sport - Australia.

Throughout the week, some ten thousand fans attended games at the home of the DEL's Nurnberg Ice Tigers and players involved in the tournament have included current NHLers in the form of Edmonton Oilers Ales Hemsky and Ottawa Senators Karel Rachunek who played for the Czech Republic, also eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Dave Hawkins, editor of leading hockey publication Face-Off Magazine, travelled with the team and said this on their efforts: "These guys did their country proud. All the players had to pay to make this trip as did Mark Cavallin, the coach. In-Line hockey at the top level is exceptionally strong and the top teams all use professional ice hockey players. The Manchester lads, Thomas and Worrall, did especially well given the level of the competition - they should be proud of their achievements."