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Murphy blow for GB

4th February 2013, 10:49am

Stephen Murphy: Injury blow for Great Britain

Stephen Murphy: Injury blow for Great Britain

Belfast Giants goaltender Stephen Murphy has been ruled out of the Great Britain squad for this week's Olympic final qualifiers in Latvia.

Murphy has not played since mid-January due to a groin strain but was included in the original party with coach Tony Hand hopeful he would be passed fit.

But Hand has now called up Basingstoke Bison netminder Stevie Lyle, who last played for GB three years ago.

Nottingham Panthers defenceman Jonathan Weaver will also miss the tournament due to injury with team-mate Steve Lee taking his place.

Hand said: "We knew it was always going to be touch and go with Stephen Murphy and sadly he has not made it. He is a tremendous netminder and is he really disappointed not to be going but we have a fantastic replacement in Stevie Lyle.

"Stevie is in terrific form this season with Basingstoke and he is an experienced performer in major international tournaments. We have also had to make a change in defence and we will miss the talents of Jon Weaver.

"But going in his place is a very capable replacement in Steve Lee. Steve is a great talent and already has experience at this level. I always said we had a very strong squad and a very strong list of replacements.

"It speaks volumes of how good our British talent is at the moment in that we lose two players so close to the tournament but are able to bring in two quality players to replace them."

GB begin the four-team tournament in Riga against the hosts on Thursday before facing France on Friday and Kazakhstan on Sunday. The winner of the group will advance to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


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