SWEDEN 4 GREAT BRITAIN 1
Great Britain’s hopes of adding more points to their World Championship tally suffered a blow as they were beaten 4-1 in the latest game of their campaign.
It was another valiant display from the Brits, but losing to a team of Sweden’s calibre is certainly no disgrace as the coaching will look at more positives from what they saw.
GB fans were in dreamland seven minutes into the game when Liam Kirk picked up his fifth goal of the tournament to move him into outright first place with goals scored.
It was contentious, needing the referees to check the video after Brendan Connolly clattered into Swedish netminder Victor Fasth.
But with the incident started by a a ‘Tre Konor’ defenceman, sending Connolly into the goalie, the goal was deemed as good and allowed to stand.
Marcus Sorenson hit back for Sweden after 15 minutes when Henrik Tömmernes linked up with Victor Olofsson, who spotted the San Jose Sharks winger and he duly sent the puck into the net.
Sweden, with only one win from their four games so far, sensed an opportunity was to be taken here and they were strong in the early stages of the second period.
They were rewarded for their efforts when Jonathan Pudas swept into the net from inside the left face off circle, taking the past from Lawrence Filut and lasered it into the top shelf.
Five minutes later, Sweden were 3-1 ahead, courtesy of Mario Kempe’s shot from the slot that beat Bowns and seemed to be the goal that did it for them.
GB’s netminder was in top form yet again, making some outstanding saves again from an offensive line packed with quality.
At the other end, there were chances as Ben O’Connor went close either side of the second interval while Kirk and Mike Hammond were also unlucky.
Needless to say, Sweden made sure in the third period when Sorensen put Kempe through, who fired the shot on Bowns and was blocked.
Unfortunately for the British goalie, the puck got away from him, landed behind him in the crease, where Kempe, still moving forward spotted it and caressed it into the net for their fourth.
After the game, co-coach Corey Neilson remained pleased with the group of players for their efforts, even if the outcome didn’t come GB’s way.
“I am incredibly proud of the players for their output today. Sweden are a great hockey nation and one of the top teams in the world,” he said.
“Over the past few years we have got better in so many areas. We are learning to work ourselves out of problems with the puck, which I was very impressed with.
“We found some really positives solutions to get away from their relentless pressure today.
“Give the players all the credit in the world. For them to be able to process as fast as they did in their minds to do some of the stuff we did – and to create as much as they did – we are happy.”
While it wasn’t to be for GB in the end, the game marked the 100th cap for Matthew Myers, who was made captain for the day.
Myers was surprised and honoured to have the ‘C’ on his jersey, which was presented to him by skipper Jonathan Phillips before the game.
“It’s very special to reach 100 caps and I’m so honoured to reach the milestone,” he said. “To also be captain this afternoon is truly humbling.
“We have a fantastic group of guys and to share this moment with them is something I will always treasure.
“I have some great memories of playing for the national team and I want us to create some more.”