DURHAM, UK – Great Britain ended the 2014 World Championships on a positive note with a 4-2 victory over Poland who topped the 6 team round robin group held in Vilnius, Lithuania. However Doug Christiansen and his side will be disappointed that GB could only pick up 9 points during their championships which saw Britain miss out on promotion back into Division 1 A.
GB’s success against Poland was arguably Doug Christiansen’s side’s best display of the tournament as the re-shuffled forward lines all linked up well and troubled the Polish defence from the opening stages of the contest with the Robert Lachowicz, Colin Shields and Robert Dowd forward unit always looking capable of finding the back of the net.
It was Colin Shields who grabbed the game’s first goal on 22 minutes when he fired past Kosowski in the Poles goal after some pleasing build up play from both Jonathan Weaver and Robert Lachowicz. GB extended their lead 6 minutes later when Shields grabbed his 2nd goal of the game with Lachowicz and Ben Davies providing the assists on this occasion.
Poland were still creating opportunities though and Dronia netted to make it 2-1 before the end of the middle session of play to keep the Poles firmly in the match up. Five minutes into the final period Poland equalised through the impressive Dziubinski to the delight of the vocal contingent of travelling Polish fans however GB quickly rallied and retook the lead when Robert Dowd netted a powerplay marker after some nice play from the Brits specialist team.
With time in the match-up running out, Poland took the decision to pull their netminder in an effort to tie up the game however, this risky tactic backfired as GB marksman Colin Shields fired into the empty net to complete his hatrick and seal Britains victory in their final match of the round robin tournament.
Young GB netminder Ben Bowns had a superb tournament inbetween the pipes for Britain and he was chosen as Britain’s player of the tournament chosen by the IIHF and also received honour of being named the top British player by the GB Supporters Club who travelled to the Championships in great numbers. In the GBSC British player of the tournament voting Ben O’Connor had enough support to finish 2nd with Sheffield Steelers Robert Dowd in 3rd position.
Britain will ice in Division 1 B again next season taking on the likes of Korea, Holland, Lithuania, Croatia and Estonia in a yet to be confirmed venue. GB will be looking to gain promotion back into Division A after missing out this year despite being the highest ranked team in Division 1 B in Lithuanian.
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