Dumfries Day Four: GB secure second shutout win

Ellie Wakeling is surrounded by her team-mates after scoring the winning goal against China (PHOTO: Karl Denham)

Great Britain U18 Women’s coach Cheryl Smith is excited to see her team set up a bronze medal opportunity after winning their second game in a row.

After the excitement of the penalty shots win over Norway on Wednesday, GB did it again with a slender 1-0 win over China going into the final day of action.

And Smith admits her team worked really hard to get the result as netminder Ella Howard recorded a second blank between the pipes.

“We had to really work hard for this one and the pleasing thing was we found a way to win,” Smith said post game.

“China have got stronger the longer the tournament has gone on and they gave us some problems.

“But Ella Howard had another great game and we stuck at it to get a very important victory.

“It’s exciting to be playing for a medal again and now we must keep the girls grounded and go again tomorrow against Netherlands.”

A regulation time win will secure a bronze medal when GB take on the Dutch, but showed they have the ability to grind results out on another tense night in Dumfries.

The opening stages of the first period saw few clear-cut chances but Aimee Headland went close for GB, while Howard turned away nine efforts from China in a busy opening session.

Chloe Headland hit the post just after a British powerplay had come to an end, while Lucy Beal set up Emily Harris but she was stopped by Jiang Han.

The deadlock was finally broken when Amiee Headland was denied on the wraparound, before Ellie Wakeling popped in the rebound on 35 minutes.

There were chances in the third period to add to GB’s one-goal advantage, but it wasn’t to be and with Howard standing on her head in goal, it became another nervy encounter.

Lizzie Saunders hit the pipes with three minutes remaining, but Britain held on for victory in the end, to take GB to six points from their four games.

EARLIER IN THE DAY

Norway shook off their penalty shots loss to GB on Wednesday with a 5-2 win over Poland to return to winning ways.

Kaja Kristensen and Andrea Kaspersen put the Norwegians two up before another from Kaspersen, sandwiched between two goals from Wikoria Sikorsa for the Poles in the second period made the game a little tighter.

Norway got there in the end as two more, both from Thea Jorgensen confirmed their victory and a gold medal showdown with France on Saturday.

For the French, their 100% record continued in the second game with a 3-0 win over the Dutch, keeping them ahead of Norway in the standings.

Elise Lombard and two from Lisa Cedelle set France up nicely for their winner takes all battle with Norway, while the Dutch have been relegated.

Poland, following the day’s play, are still in with a chance of taking the bronze medal and will take on China in the final day.

SATURDAY FIXTURES:

Norway vs France (1pm)

Poland vs China (4.30pm)

Great Britain vs Netherlands (8pm)

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