Swindlehurst and GB lose World Championship opener

Swindon Wildcats' Paul Swindlehurst

Swindon Wildcats' Paul Swindlehurst

First published in Ice Hockey by

PAUL Swindlehurst and Great Britain Under 20s could not make a winning start to their World Championship (Division 1B) campaign.

Despite a brave effort against hosts Ukraine, Swindon Wildcats D-man Swindlehurst and his national teammates were on the end of a narrow 2-1 defeat at Ice Palace Druzhba on Monday.

The opening period was goalless but Ukraine took the lead at 23.26 though Maxym Martyshko.

That advantage was to last a little over three minutes as Team GB’s Aaron Connolly replied.

With no further goals in the third period or overtime, the game went to penalties which Ukraine won 2-0.

Cardiff’s Adam Harding and Coventry’s Ross Venus both missed for GB, while Viktor Zakharov and Iva Pidgursky beat netminder Andrew Brummitt with their efforts.

That state of affairs gave the tournament hosts the extra point but GB would have been extremely pleased with that effort.

GB are due to play their second match of the tournament against Poland this afternoon (2.30pm).

Ice Hockey UK vice president Jim Anderson was very positive of the performance against the Ukraine.

He said: “The players equipped themselves well during the game and were obviously a bit disappointed losing in the penalty shootout.

“We have had a lot of positive comments in the way we played the host nation.

“The IIHF chairman of the tournament Hans Dobida commented on how well we played and equipped ourselves to the speed of the game.

“The officials complemented our players in the way they played and respected them, and also commented it was a pleasure to officiate.”

Meanwhile, Swindon Cougars were on the end of a 5-4 defeat to Cardiff Devils recently.

Missing Dolphin, Da Cova and Lee, Wilson was called up from the under 16s to bulk out the squad.

In the first period Devils took the game to their opponents and emerged 1-0 up with a quick shot from Bradshaw catching Bonello unaware at his post.

After the resumption there were early goals for both teams through Latchford and Swindon’s Taylor, and then the puck seemed to creep into the Devils goal, but it was not awarded.

Cougars levelled with a well-worked powerplay goal thanks to Elias, but Devils wrapped up the period scoring through Price.

A quick goal at the start of period three from Griffiths made it 4-2 to Cardiff, and although Elias missed a penalty, Taylor did then convert on the double powerplay.

Cougars’ hard work was rewarded with an equaliser from Boland-Pedley but in the final five minutes Price fired in off the crossbar.

Player of the match for Cougars was Bonello.

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