GB coach proud despite loss

(PHOTO: Courtesy of Ice Hockey UK)

Great Britain’s Women’s Under 18’s coach Cheryl Smith spoke of her pride in her team’s display, despite going down to a 3-0 shutout loss to Austria in Katowice.

The result more or less ends any medal hopes the team have in Division 1 Group B, but there were many positives to take from the performance as the players gave a good reaction to Sunday’s 7-1 loss to Norway.

And Smith was keen to accentuate the positives as they prepare for their final game against hosts, Poland tomorrow (Wednesday).

“I’m so proud of the whole squad,” she said. “They knew they needed to respond after the Norway game and they did that. 

“We had momentum at times but ran into penalties which turned the tables and then we had to rebuild. 

“We gave them very specific instructions and they stuck to them. We made a bad change and it cost us the first goal but from then on we pushed hard. 

HIGHLIGHTS: GB Women’s Under 18’s 0-3 Austria Women’s Under 18’s

“We nullified their game in our defensive zone and at times they had no answer. Their second came from a powerplay goal but up until that moment we had Austria on the back foot and I felt we were going to score. 

“Sometimes hockey can be cruel. All I know now is our first period tomorrow has to be as good as today’s game.” 

Ella Howard was an inspiration in the GB goal, making 42 saves, while the team had some good chances at the other end with Chloe Headland and Emily Harris in particular going close.

Lena Daubock opened the scoring after almost six minutes as she cut inside from the left and produced a neat finish.

GB held it tight until near the end of the game and Headland saw her shot cleared off the line early in the third period.

Emma Mortl’s shot from the blueline took a deflection on its way past Howard on the powerplay and 31 seconds later, Emma Hofbauer got the final touch after a goalmouth scramble with two minutes to go to secure victory.

GB’s final game tomorrow is against Poland U18 Women at 8pm (7pm UK time).

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