Grubb delighted with character after GB nab silver

GB Men's Under 20s coach Martin Grubb (PHOTO: Ice Hockey UK)

Great Britain Under-20s coach Martin Grubb praised his team for their character as their World Championship Division II Group A campaign ended with a 5-2 win over Serbia.

GB will return from Vilnius with a silver medal to show for their efforts, but the opening day loss to Japan is the one that did it for them as they went up with the gold medal in their palms.

But Grubb admits the win over the Serbs may not have been the best display from his team this week and has seen progress.

“I don’t think it was our best performance.,” he said. “We started well but we got a little loose.

“Credit to Serbia for the way they came back, but we talked in the room at the end of the second period that good teams find a way to win.

“We wanted to play for the nation – for the people here and the people back home. We wanted to progress, four wins out of five is a progression, but we still want to be better

“It is still tinged with sadness that we underachieved as we weren’t going for a gold medal, but credit to the players as they have showed huge character throughout the tournament.”

Going into the final round of matches GB had already assured themselves of at least a bronze, but Japan’s 5-2 win over Lithuania later on in the day meant that was upgraded to a silver.

The Brits led 2-0 at the first intermission thanks to a neat finish from Sam Russell on the powerplay (14:23), while Ed Bradley cut inside from the right to fire past Bojan Vasiv (16:59).

Serbia drew level with a pair of powerplay goals through Marko Mladenovic (22:41) and Aleksa Gvozdenovic (34:29).

Third-period goals from Alex Graham  (50:37), Finley Ulrick (56:53) and Cade Neilson from a feed behind the net (59:24) wrapped up GB’s fourth successive win.

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