Home ice offers Sheffield Steelers' quintet chance of perfect send-off with Great Britain
Pete Russell’s team have already faced Italy and Hungary in a mini-tournament as part their two-week training camp and will face-off against KHL outfit Torpedo twice this weekend before heading out later this week to Kosice.
After tonight’s game against the Russians in Nottingham, Phillips and his Sheffield Steelers’ team-mates will get to play on home ice tomorrow afternoon at FlyDSA Arena (4pm).
Phillips – joined by club team-mates Jackson Whistle, Ben O’Connor, Rob Dowd and Jonathan Phillips in the 25-strong squad – admits playing at his home rink will make it a touch more special.
“It will be good for the Steelers’ lads playing in our own barn, make it that bit more special as hopefully there’ll be plenty of our fans in, who are probably already missing their hockey fix,” said Phillips.
“All the games we’ve had have provided ideal preparation for the kind of fast-paced game we can expect next month.”
GB kick off their campaign on May 11 against Germany before facing Canada, USA, Finland, Slovakia, France and Denmark on their first return to the top-tier since 1994.
By the time they arrive in Kosice, Russell's players will have had four warm-up games before finalising their preparations with a pre-tournament match-up against hosts, Slovakia.
And Phillips believes the past two weeks have offered him and his team-mates the perfect opportunity to get used the the kind of speed they can expect once the tournament gets underway.
"All the games are good preparation for us ahead of the championships, the Russian teams are very fast and very skilful and close to what we can expect out there," said Phillips.
"We know it's going to be extremely hard for us once we get to Slovakia, we're not daft but we're all looking forward to seeing how we measure up against the world's best players and teams."