The Belarus national ice hockey team have begun preparations for the May world championship. On March 29, the team gathered for a training camp in Minsk. Dave Lewis called up 31 players.
The lion's share are from Dinamo Minsk, but there are also representatives of national Extraliga, the Belarusian national ice hockey championship. Three goalies have been called up, including unofficial number one Mikhail Karnaukhov.
Mikhail Karnaukhov, goaltender, Belarus:
Emotional mood is excellent, a lot of energy, desire to prove my worth... So no problems should arise. We are training on the ice, shooting exercises, skating and gym.
The IIHF WM 2017 kicks off May 5. Cologne and Paris will host the competition. Before leaving for the championship, Belarusians are to test their strength in eight games of the Euro Challenge. The next games will be held in Daugavpils against Latvia 7 and 8 April.
Dave Lewis, head coach of Belarus:
We are not going to change the philosophy and spirit of the team for the world championship. We want to win. We are going to make some adjustments to tactical points, pay attention to power plays and work on discipline. This is what will help us achieve success.
The first training session at Minsk Arena has left a positive impression, Lewis said. Let's hope the next friendlies will strengthen this feeling.
Alexander Pavlovich, striker:
We started training a little earlier to gain good condition, to skate, to look good in the eyes of the head coach.