Hammond helps GB claim first World point in Riga

Mike Hammond celebrates his late leveller to secure a point for GB against Denmark (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

GREAT BRITAIN 2 DENMARK 3 (AFTER OVERTIME)

Great Britain took a point, but couldn’t gain the extra one as they were downed 3-2 in overtime by Denmark at the World Championships in Riga.

It was another hard fought and valiant performance as GB took the Danes all the way in a marked improvement from the last time the two nations met two years ago, when Denmark romped to a 9-0 victory.

It was a special day for captain Jonathan Phillips, marking his 100th appearance for his national team and a display he of all people would be very proud of.

While he reach a century of appearances, it was maiden outings for Sam Jones and Ciaran Long who were given the nod by co-coaches Adam Keefe and Corey Neilson.

It started so well as GB went ahead after a couple of minutes into the game when a Ben O’Connor wrist shot went in off the bar as he picked up his 18th goal for his country.

The Danes came back strongly and started to work Ben Bowns in the GB net, getting their reward around the 10 minute mark when Julian Jakobsen scored with a backhand effort to pull them level.

It wasn’t long before they got themselves in front as Nicklas Jensen fired one in on a powerplay chance and GB soon found themselves behind.

Both teams battled hard in the second period and while Denmark looked dangerous, Britain had their fair share of moments to worry their opponents.

Brendan Connolly saw a good shot well saved by Sebastian Dahm before turning provider for Robert Dowd then Liam Kirk’s effort from the slot was saved, all the while Bowns turning away six shots.

GB left it late to equalise though when Mike Hammond take on Ben Lake’s excellent pass to shoot through Dahm’s five-goal and help take the game to overtime.

Sadly, this was as much as Britain could muster as Markus Lauridsen fired home top shelf from the slot with 25 seconds left on the clock in the extra period and deny GB the chance of a shootout lottery.

GB got their first point of the competition despite losing to Denmark in Riga (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Co-coach Corey Neilson praised the players for another impressive display as they ran another top level opponent close.

”It was another great performance and it just shows how far we have come in recent years,” he said.

“We’ve come off the ice disappointed that we didn’t win, but we have so many reasons to be proud of that display.

“We ran a fantastic side very close and our guys just threw their bodies on the line time and time again.

“The boys now need some rest ahead of Belarus, who will bring difference challenges but we are excited to compete against them.” 

GB will play Belarus in their next game at the Olympic Sports Centre at 6.15pm on Wednesday.

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