GB 4 Poland 2

GB get shot at bronze

Great Britain have given themselves a chance of a bronze medal at the World Championship Division 1B following a final-day 4-2 victory over Poland in Vilnius.

 

Colin Shields netted a hat-trick and grabbed an assist as GB wrapped the competition up with victory over the previously unbeaten side.

 

GB now need hosts Lithuania to beat Croatia in the last game of the tournament, with both sides battling for silver.

 

Doug Christiansen's side went ahead at 22:54 as Shields batted the puck out of the air driving the net, with assists to Robert Lachowicz and Ben Davies.

 

The Belfast Giants forward netted his second goal (28:29) firing top shelf from the slot, set up by Lachowicz and Davies.

 

Poland, who were already promoted with four straight wins, pulled one back with Pawel Dronia's one-time blast from right point on the powerplay (35:38).

 

It was 2-2 at 45:31 at Krystian Dziubinksi reacted first to a loose puck to level the game up.

 

Robert Dowd scored on a five-on-three powerplay to put GB ahead again when he fired high from close-in,  assisted by Shields and Jonathan Weaver.

 

Shields completed his treble into an empty net, with Mark Garside getting the assist.

 

Coach Christiansen said: "We were fantastic and I am so proud of them.

 

"We had a gameplan and we executed it perfectly, it was an excellent performance.

 

"Everyone gave their all, everyone stuck to the system and they did what they had to do.

 

"It means so much to me and I hope we can round it off with a bronze medal."

 

Meanwhile, Cardiff Devils netminder Ben Bowns [pictured top] says he is thrilled to be awarded Great Britain's player of the tournament.

 

Bowns played the last 14 minutes of GB's opening game against Croatia, before starting the following four games to end the tournament with a save percentage of 92% and goals-against of 1.90.

 

GB beat already-promoted Poland 4-2 on the final day to keep alive their hopes of a bronze medal, but had to rely on Lithuania beating Croatia in regulation time.

 

The hosts, who ended up in third, were beaten 3-2 by Croatia who won the silver medal and GB finished fourth.

 

Bowns, who was also named as GB Supporters' Club player of the tournament, said: "It is a great honour to receive both awards.

 

"I really enjoyed the tournament and it was brilliant to get so many games at a World Championship tournament.

 

"We know things should've been so much better for us and we wish we were chasing promotion come the final day.

 

"But we need to build on this now for the future and take all the positives.

 

"There have been many good points and these are the things we have to take forward."


Report courtesy of icehockeyuk.co.uk and pictures with thanks to Colin Lawson (IceHockeyMedia)

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