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Ice hockey: Former Raider Duval 'rooting' for GB

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 May 2019

American forward James Duval played for Romford Raiders in 2001/2

American forward James Duval played for Romford Raiders in 2001/2

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Former Romford Raiders forward James Duval admits he will be cheering on Great Britain during their campaign in the elite group of the World Championships this month - but not when they play the USA.

GB are back at the top level for the first time in 25 years and American Duval scored 91 points from 46 appearances during the 2001/2 English Premier League season, including 35 goals and 56 assists.

Raiders, coached by Shaun McFadyen, won the EPL Cup that season and Duval, now 42 years old, admits he has fond memories of his time living and playing in the town, at the old Rom Valley Way rink.

He said: "It's great to see GB back in the top group. I played with and against some very talented British players and the GB team's promotion shows that ice hockey continues to progress there.

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"I loved my time playing hockey in England so I will be rooting for them, unless they are up against the USA.

"I am sure they will have their work cut out for them with all those other incredible teams, just as the USA will."

GB lost their opening match in Kosice Slovakia against Olympic silver medalists Germany on Saturday, but only by a 3-1 margin.

Sunday's clash with Canada ended in an 8-0 defeat against the world number ones and GB take on Denmark on Tuesday before meeting the Americans on Wednesday.

After losing 4-1 to hosts Slovakia in their opening match, the USA have beaten France (7-1) and Finland (3-2 in overtime) and Duval added: "Certainly against the US, the GB team will have to be aware of the speed and skill of the Americans.

"The talent level on that US roster, with all those NHL players, is absolutely ridiculous. The US has some well-known guys to be wary of, like Patrick Kane and Johnny Gaudreau, but they also have some youngsters like Jack Eichel and Jack Hughes who are dangerous and really fun to watch."

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