Shoot-out heartache for battling GB U20 team

Great Britain U20 produced a spirited performance against Poland in their latest World Championship (Division 1B) game on Wednesday.

GB led 2-0 midway through the second period, but were pegged back to 2-2 by the end of regulation before finally going down 3-2 after a penalty shoot-out.

Glenn Billing opened the scoring after 11 minutes and GB extended their lead just after the half-hour mark.

Jordan Kelsall’s aggressive forecheck caused a turnover in the Poland zone and although Tyler Plews (above) saw his shot saved, a second effort set up Liam Kirk for a one-timer that he smashed it into the net for his second goal of the week.

Alan Lyszczarczyk made it 2-1 before the end of the middle session and Poland tied things up with ten minutes to play when Mateusz Goscinski fired home.

Regulation time ran out putting GB into their second overtime contest of the week. Neither side could find a goal, although Poland had the best of the chances.

Kamil Wrobel grabbed the deciding goal in the shoot-out to secure the victory for Poland.

GB U20 boss Martin Grubb said: “That was a massive performance by the players – we knew there would be times we’d have to be good in the ‘D’ zone.

“We were heroic in the ‘D’ zone. Our shot blocking was exceptional and when we had our chances we put them under pressure.

“We set the tone from the first shift when Sam Duggan made a hit behind the net and they didn’t like that.

“Of course you’re disappointed not to take the maximum points in any game, but we have to take the point we’ve won and build on it against Italy on Thursday.

“If take the same intensity and ‘British bulldog’ spirit into the game and we cut out the mistakes, then I’d like to think we have too much for them.”

Great Britain are fifth in the standings with two points, with Italy below them with one point from three games.

Hosts Hungary currently top the group with a perfect nine from nine. Poland are second, Slovenia third and Ukraine fourth.

(Image permission: Duncan Speirs)

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