GB down to earth with a bump

Great Britain U20 failed to follow up their World Championship victory over top-seeded Slovenia – conceding three goals in each period of a 9-3 defeat to Poland on Sunday.

The match started badly as GB turned the puck over in their own zone to allow Poland to take the lead just 75 seconds into the game.

Both sides spurned a powerplay chance before Poland doubled the lead at 15.48 – Lorek tapping in a loose puck after Jordan Hedley had made the initial save.

The period wound down with GB on the penalty kill and 25 seconds before the buzzer slick passing set up Krzemien at the back post to make it 3-0.

Poland dominated again in the middle frame, outshooting GB 20-6 and stretching out to a 6-0 lead through Horzelski (pp), Wrobel and Goscinski. Ben Churchfield took over in net from Jordan Hedley at this point.

Britain made it onto the scoreboard at 32.34 on a powerplay of their own. Callum Buglass’ shot from the point was saved, but Vanya Antonov picked up the rebound and netted from a tight angle.

Going into the final period GB looked to build on Antonov’s goal, but it was Poland who came out flying scoring twice in the first 28 seconds to pull further away at 8-1.

GB then killed off a Callum Buglass penalty, before Poland side four minor penalties in as many minutes giving the British powerplay units an extended spell of five on three.

Alex Forbes was the main beneficiary as he netted twice from inside the blueline – it was 8-3 with 12 minutes remaining.

Poland took another couple of penalties but GB couldn’t capitalise – it was left to Poland to have the final word through Paszek.

Head Coach Tom Watkins said: “It’s brought us back to earth with a little bump, I don’t necessarily think that it was a 9-3 game on the balance of play.

“Poland were the better team but they capitalised on our indvidual errors. Our fundamentals at times weren’t good enough and we made some bad decisions which lead to scoring chances which they took very well.

“Overall we have a win and a loss from our opening two games – coming into this group this year we’d probably have taken that. The win over Slovenia was huge – today we weren’t as good and the result got away from us.

“We still have two games left in this group and it comes down to character and belief as to what we can get out of those games. Last night we were playing for a medal, tonight we’re still playing for a medal.”

Monday is a rest day for the games, though the team will have a long training session at the Palais des Sports.

Great Britain return to action on Tuesday night against host nation France, face-off is 7pm local time/6pm GMT. Their final Division 1B clash is against Ukraine on Wednesday afternoon.

In Sunday’s other game, France defeated Slovenia 4-1 in regulation to move to the top of the early standings.

(Image permission: Fresh Influence)

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