GB fall to hosts as crunch final game looms

(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Mike Hammond got on the scoresheet for his third goal of the World Championships, but Great Britain were beaten again as hosts Slovakia claimed a 7-1 victory.

As the key final game with France looms, it was another stern test for the British side, who now have to hope Finland beat the French to set up the relegation clash on Monday afternoon.

Despite another good performance in the face of quality opposition, the host nation were two up in the opening three minutes to give themselves a health start.

Ben Bowns was called upon to made a save almost instantly after the initial puck drop. but Slovakia were soon celebrating as Andrej Sekera’s blue line shot flew past the GB netminder via a deflection.

(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Tomas Tatar sneaked one in just 21 seconds later and the buoyant home support in Kosice were on their feet again in celebration having just sat back down again.

Slovakia were 3-0 up at the nine minute mark as a powerplay effort from Martin Marincin at the blue line against left Bowns beaten, who had to be withdrawn after due to picking up a minor knock.

Jackson Whistle stepped in and was unbeaten for the rest of the period, while up the other end, GB found their way to goal for the fifth time in the competition.

Hammond’s good instincts saw him jump on a Mark Richardson effort that was rebounded and the Manchester Storm forward put the puck through the goalie’s legs to pull one back.

Slovakia tried to restore the three-goal lead early in the second period when Whistle denied Libor Hudacek, who surged forward from the face off.

(PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Marek Cajkovsky fired one in from the blueline that dipped on Whistle four minutes into the period to make it 4-1 to continue their scoring,

Then a low Marian Studenic effort beat Whistle through the five-hole was followed by Matus Sukel, finishing off a shorthanded odd man rush with Adam Liska.

David Bondra got the only goal of the third period with a deflected effort to put the icing on the cake as Slovakia keep their quarter final hopes alive and like GB, need results to go their way to give them something to fight for in their final game.

For Pete Russell’s men, they get one more chance to try and get the big win they need to stay at this level next year, but the hopes of that still being the case rest on Finland tomorrow as GB take another well earned rest day.

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