2015 IIHF ICE HOCKEY U20 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Div. II Group A Estonia
Game Day 1
After a technicality saw GB U20 relegated last year despite finishing fourth, a tough opening game in Div. II Group A awaited them. Netherlands finished third in this group last time around, only losing to gold medal winners Hungary and to Lithuania in overtime.
GB made a decent start and Bobby Chamberlain went close early after a turnover behind the net.
Both teams had power plays but then negated them with penalties as their own, each struggling for fluency on the man advantage. Chamberlain would fire wide and Netherlands responded with a shot that flicked the outside off the post and out.
It was obviously a pre-game plan for the team in orange to shoot on sight and Goss had to be alert to turn all 15 shots aside in the opening frame, though GB actually fired two more shots then their opponents but couldn’t find a way through.
GB were still killing a penalty leftover from the first period when they opened the scoring 27 seconds into the middle frame.
Alexander Forbes sending Ivan Antonov away and with not many options he absolutely sniped his shot top shelf to give GB a 1-0 lead. Bobby Chamberlain was proving himself an offensive force and he came so close to making it 2-0 shortly afterwards.
The second period was mostly all Netherlands as GB showed a lack of discipline in taking yet more penalties, with Adam Goss having to make a plethora of top saves to keep the orange army at bay as they swarmed around his net. He had turned aside 25 shots by the time the second intermission buzzer had sounded and GB were more than thankful to their net minder for protecting the narrow lead.
They repaid Goss just 3:43 into the final period. Ollie Betteridge responded first to a rebound which either came off the post or the Netherlands goaltender, but either way it was 2-0 GB.
Netherlands respond right away with concerted pressure and finally found a way to beat Goss.
Giovanni Vogelaar with the neat finish to halve the deficit and his team almost tied the game up within 30 seconds but Adam Goss produced an outstanding save to deny a tip in front from a beautiful cross ice feed. The tying goal was only a matter of two minutes away as the Netherlands won the offensive zone face-off and despite Goss making two big saves, it was one rebound too many as Guus van Ness finished with aplomb.
GB took a penalty within a minute of the goal which proved to be th turning point. A huge kill from GB was followed by a quite incredible solo effort from Jordan Cownie who showed some nifty stick-handling before beating Vermeulen with a backhand shot.
There was no sitting back on the lead this time around as GB made it 4-2 just 90 seconds later.
A shot from Cownie beat Vermeulen and trickled toward the line. Bobby Chamberlain made sure the Netherlands goaltender had no chance of scrambling back by touching the puck home.
Team GB’s head Peter Russell made the smart move of calling a timeout following the goal to clam his troops down from the euphoria and drum into them the importance of the remaining six minutes.
The youngsters knuckled down and it was almost a bigger victory then the eventual 4-2 scoreline as Floyd Taylor almost snuck one through with a short side effort.
Adam Goss was rightly called GB’s “Best Player of the Game” for his 40 saves.
GB face possibly their sternest test with a match-up against Lithuania at 11am GMT Monday.
SH1 GBR 21. ANTONOV Ivan from (3. FORBES Alexander) & (5. MOORE Craig)
EQ GBR 11. BETTERIDGE Oliver from (7. STRATFORD Michael)
EQ GBR 14. COWNIE Jordan Unassisted
EQ GBR 12. CHAMBERLAIN Bobby from (14. COWNIE Jordan) & (8. HOOK Lewis)