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Lightning boss lauds GB U20’s

All four Milton Keynes Lighting players who represented Great Britain U20’s in this week’s World Championships played key roles in the team’s success. Their reward will be to return home this weekend with bronze medals to add to the gold ones earned in the competition last year.

Defenceman Ed Knaggs and forwards Luc Johnson, Lewis Hook and Glenn Billing joined their GB team mates at Megeve in France last week to contest Division 1B. Johnson and Hook also had the honour of being the team’s two alternate captains

In a competitive group, GB – who were seeded 6th – beat top seeds Slovenia, hosts and eventual division winners France and also highly-fancied Ukraine, losing only to Poland.

Lewis Hook scooped the accolade for GB’s player of the tournament, ending the week as GB’s second highest goals and points scorer, hitting the back of the net twice during the Championships and also picking up an assist. Luc Johnson scored once, Glenn Billing bagged an assist and won more face-offs than any of his team-mates, and Ed Knaggs was voted best player for his side during the team’s win against Ukraine.

At 17 years of age, Ed Knaggs is the second youngest player in the GB U20 roster and would still be eligible to represent Great Britain U18’s at the World Championships in Croatia next April, if selected. Along with Glenn Billing and Luc Johnson, Ed is on a two-way contract with the NIHL Milton Keynes Thunder,  showing the impressive depth of talent coming up through the ranks in MK.

Lightning’s Head Coach Pete Russell, who led the GB U20 team to gold at last year’s competition, congratulated the entire team: “They went to France as underdogs and have came away with a medal – what a fantastic achievement from our four lads and the other 18 players.

“I was fortunate to be part of some great results and experiences in my time within the GB programme and this performance is right up there at the top.

“They battled hard, played with raw emotion and with huge hearts. Lewis, Luc, Glenn and Edward played a big part in this success and those memories will never leave them. Everyone in the game in Milton Keynes is so proud of them all.”