Great Britain’s women’s team’s return to action couldn’t have gone any better as they swept Iceland aside in a 5-0 drubbing to start their Olympic qualifying campaign on the right foot.
After two and a half years on the sidelines because of the Covid pandemic, Mike Clancy’s first game in charge was everything he and his team could have hoped for in front of the home fans in Nottingham.
They looked relatively comfortable all the way as Iceland had no answer to the style of play the GB coach had deployed. Fairly soon though, the effort got its rewards.
Sarah Hutchison’s one-time effort was stopped by the Icelandic goalie Birtu Helgudottir, but only as far as Katherine Gale, who swiftly despatched the puck into the net.
GB added to their lead a couple of minutes later on the powerplay when Sunna Bjorgsvinsdottir sat on a holding call to give the home team a player advantage.
They duly made it count when Jodie Bloom’s effort deflected nicely for Bethany Hill to put away and the Brits were off and running.
Clancy’s team kept the pressure up in the second period and while Iceland did their best to keep their opponents at bay, a third goal undone that hard work and effort.
Rachel Cartwright passed from behind the net, finding Aimee Headland to send it home and increased the British lead.
As time moved on, the game looked more and more beyond Iceland, but that didn’t stop GB adding to their one-sided tally.
Saffron Allen got the final touch from Kathryn Marsden’s low shot after 44 minutes to kill off what little hope Iceland had left of getting something.
But they saved the best to last when NWHL drafted Casey Traill sent an impressive snipe screaming into the net for the icing on the cake and GB were off and running in their quest for Beijing.