GB Women U18 beat Poland

Great Britain Women U18 produced a fantastic performance to beat Poland 3-1 in their second game in Group B of the IIHF World Championship (Division 1 Qualification) in Radenthein, Austria.

GB had narrowly lost their first game by the same scoreline against Italy, but bounced back in style to secure a deserved victory against Poland.

Netminder Izzy Wallace turned away 33 of the 34 shots she faced and was only denied a shutout by a controversial late Poland goal.

Wallace made two early saves to deny Wiktoria Dziwok, firstly on a wraparound and then after a shot from the left circle.

GB quickly burst into life and after Shannon Douglas went close, they scored two goals in 31 seconds.

Casey Traill got the final touch to a shot from Douglas to make it 1-0 after six minutes and Louise Beresford netted at the backdoor from a pass by Lizzie Saunders to make it two just 30 seconds later.

Wallace made three excellent stops in the early stages of the second period as GB struggled for possession.

After soaking up relentless Poland pressure, GB broke down the other end and scored with only their second shot of the period, as Katie Marsden set up Douglas at the backdoor to score in 37th minute.

Poland twice thought they’d scored, once at the end of the second period and again early in the third, but each time referee Kuroda had blown for a face-off.

Lucy Gruber was denied on a breakaway late in the third period, before Poland scored with a minute remaining through Wiktoria Gogoc. The goal appeared to be offside and was only given after lengthy discussions between the officials.

Head Coach Michelle Smith said: “We are so proud of them – they were brilliant out there.

“They did everything we asked of them and more. There were a few tears on the bench, it was very special.

“We had to withstand a lot pressure, especially in the second period, but they held firm and it was a terrific win.

“The spirit is fantastic in this squad and it was a fully deserved victory.”

There are no games on Saturday, but GB return to action with their final group game on Sunday when they face Australia at 11:45am.

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