Finland see off battling GB to claim victory

(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

It was another valiant display from Great Britain in the World Championships, but it was to be another loss as Finland shut out Pete Russell’s side with a 5-0 win.

While Finnish danger man Kaapo Kakko was denied by GB netminder Ben Bowns and the rest of the defensive pack, his team-mates found a way through despite the shot count being 49-12 in favour of the world’s number five ranked team.

Brett Perlini hit one on Jussi Olkinuora in Finland’s goal as Britain teased the possibility of drawing first blood in the latest chapter of what’s been a difficult campaign for GB in Slovakia.

Bowns denied Kakko, who tried one from the slot and although there were a couple of other notable chances from GB, the first period ended without a goal for either team.

Bowns impressed again in the GB goal (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

It was an encouraging sign as Britain looked to build on the spirited display they gave against USA, but not even a minute had been played in the middle period when Finland made the breakthrough.

Toni Rajala was the man to get with a slick shot from the inside right, leaving Bowns to retrieve the puck from the back of the net 25 seconds after the restart.

Finland went two up five minutes later as Atte Ohtamaa delivered a crisp finish into the top right hand corner of the net and the jig for GB looked to be up.

They added a third with a rebound close range backhand finish from Joel Kiviranta after Miika Koivisto’s blue line was stopped by Bown’s chest before the Vaasan Sport winger delivered the finish.

GB found themselves under the cosh for a majority of the game and held up to the pressure well, with Bowns picking up another 44 saves to further enhance his bulging reputation.

(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Robert Dowd had a variety of chances from around the Finnish crease, but just couldn’t find a way through in a good performance from him.

But it was credit to GB for holding off the threat and it took Finland until the final couple of minutes to add a fourth, an empty net by Kristian Kuusela as Pete Russell pulled Bowns in an attempt to get something on the board.

Mikko Lehtonen’s powerplay finish was the cherry on the cake as Finland moved to the top of Group A with 13 points from their five games so far.

For GB, it was another hard luck story in a performance that again yielded positives, but they have two games left to try and get that much coveted victory.

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