2015 IIHF ICE HOCKEY U20 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Div. II Group A
Game Day 2
Hockey doesn’t get much better than this. An absolute classic of a hockey game between two young international teams that turned into a titanic struggle.
Both teams knew this might be the gold medal decider despite only being day two and it swung one way and then the other as emotions ran high.
It was Lithuania who were by far the better team and they dominated the first period despite the shot clock showing otherwise.
There weren’t many whistles early on as the fast passed nature of the game saw both teams have possession in the offensive zone. GB’s best chance falling to Sam Duggan between the hash marks but his effort was well stopped by Baltrunas, who despite the loss was outstanding.
Lithuania stamped their authority on the game inside six minutes with an opening marker from Truksnys.
A power play followed for Lithuania and Adam Goss, who was unlucky on the first goal as it trickled past him, had to make a pair of top notch saves
Duggan was once more denied by Baltrunas and no one was on hand to tuck home the big rebound.
A broken play lead to Lithuania doubling their lead. With a 3 on 1 rush against, Goss did fantastically well to turn aside the effort from Gintautas but the impressive Arturas Laukaitis was on hand to score the rebound. Lithuania may have only registered nine shots in the opening frame but most were great chances and GB were thankful to Goss in only being down 2-0.
Some harsh words in the first intermission no doubt and GB came out firing in the second.
They overran their opponents in the first three minutes with Duggan and Chamberlain combining and then Hook was only denied by yet another great save.
That momentum was halted as GB took two penalties in a span of 1:15 to leave them down two men.
A big moment in the game and a big play came courteously of Cameron Wynn. Breaking up the Lithuania attack, he showed great speed to get away from the last man and drive to the nice. His shot had just enough on it to finally beat Baltrunas and went in off the iron. I can’t emphasise enough what a fantastic play that was from the young man.
With the rest of the penalty killed, you could sense GB smelt a tying goal.
Despite firing 15 shots in the period it wouldn’t quite happen for them with Cownie’s effort coming the closet when he grazed the post.
A better defensive effort meant they still only trailed 2-1 heading into the final period.
GB weren’t downhearted by their failure to tie the game up in the middle frame and once more came roaring out of the gates in what turned out to the be the third period of all third periods.
GB were firing shots from left, right and centre, with tips and redirects in front, Baltrunas was doing a hell of a job keeping his team in front.
The young Lions would have to wait until the 50th minute of the game to finally draw level.
Ivan Antonov picking off an intended breakout pass and he gave Baltrunas no time to get readjusted before firing home.
A mere 18 seconds later and GB took the lead. Sam Duggan picking up his own rebound and smashing the puck home.
He would head to the box just after that goal and although the penalty would be killed, Lithuania would tie the game shortly after as Cetvertak finished with aplomb after a deflection gave him possession.
Goals were flying in everywhere and inside 45 seconds GB were back on top. Jordan Cownie with another excellent finish, showing some nifty stick work and a ton of patience to give his team a 4-3 lead.
Penalties were taken by both teams as the nerves and anxiety were apparent and GB were thankful to Goss for a huge save with two minutes to play.
The game looked to be over with 41 seconds left on the clock as Bobby Chamberlain scored an empty netter from long range but credit to Lithuania who responded once again to bring themselves within one with just 20 seconds remaining.
It all came down to a face-off in GB’s end with 3.3 seconds to play. Sam Duggan was the man asked to win the battle in the dot and he did just that to keep the puck away from the GB net and seal the deal on a quite incredible victory.
Cameron Wynn was named GB’s “Best Player of the Game.”
GB out-shot Lithuania 40-25
1 – 2 SH2 GBR 10. WYNN Cameron Unassisted
2 – 2 EQ GBR 21. ANTONOV Ivan Unassisted
3 – 2 EQ GBR 22. DUGGAN Samuel from (2. ROBSON Scott)
4 – 3 EQ GBR 14. COWNIE Jordan from (8. HOOK Lewis) & (23. RUTKIS Toms)
5 – 3 EQ,ENG GBR 12. CHAMBERLAIN Bobby Unassisted