GB edge Romania in Olympic opener

Brendan Connolly celebrates his first goal for GB (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Great Britain 4 Romania 3

A late goal from Romania’s Alpar Sallo made the final minutes a nervy affair, but Great Britain held out to take the points in their opening Winter Olympic qualifier.

The Motorpoint Arena crowd was a happy one by the end as Pete Russell’s side took the win against a Romanian side who gave a good account of themselves, but just came up short.

The discussion continues as to what are the best slots to take in the qualifying programme.

It was an action packed first period that saw GB ahead inside the first 20 minutes, taking their chances well give them the edge over the Romanians.

However it was the visitors who opened the scoring after 14 minutes when Anton Butochnov set up Vitali Kirkchenko, who delivered a low finish to beat Ben Bowns.

GB edged to victory over Romania to get their Olympic qualifying campaign off to a winning start (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Romania’s lead didn’t last long though as GB pulled level 50 seconds later as Dallas Ehrhardt blasted one in from just inside the blue line and it flew past Romania netminder Patrik Polc.

GB added to it not long after with Ehrhardt set up Robert Farmer, who went down on one knee to deliver the finish from the bottom of the face off circle and Pete Russell’s men were ahead at the first break.

Daniel Tranca pulled the Romanians level at the halfway mark with something of an opportunist effort from the right wing at the blue line that left Bowns well beaten.

The Brits didn’t let things stay that way for too long as Cardiff’s Matthew Myers finished one off a couple of minutes later from the slot and the lead was restored.

New cap Scott Conway goes close (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Brendan Connolly opened his GB account on his debut as he was in the right position to finish off a slick cutback from Ben Lake from behind the goal line and the lead was increased to 4-2.

Both sides had chances in the third, but Sallo’s was the one that found the back of the net late on to set up a tense finale, but GB held out for the win.

Earlier in the day, Hungary opened their campaign with a 4-1 win over Estonia as they sit at the top of the standings on goal difference after day one.

GB are back in action on Saturday when they take on Estonia in their second game.

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