France 3-4 Great Britain (AOT): Ben Davies overtime goal ensures Britain remain among ice hockey's elite

Great Britain celebrate their victory over France
Great Britain celebrate their victory over France

Great Britain will once again line-up among ice hockey's elite after securing their top-flight status with a dramatic 4-3 victory over France.

Both sides went into the final game in Group A knowing that a win would be enough to avoid relegation.

It looked like it would be France who would secure the two points when three goals in four second period minutes raced them into a 3-0 lead.

However, Robert Dowd and Mike Hammond struck before the break to give Britain 20 minutes to find an equaliser.

Robert Farmer, the man who scored the goal to send his side to the top level this time 12 months ago, levelled things up with 45:16 on the clock.

Then, 2:03 into overtime, Ben Davies connected with a Jonathan Phillips pass in front of the night to beat the French netminder high to his right.

It was another solid performance from Britain's goalie Ben Bowns, who saved 33 of the 36 shots faced, posting a 91.67 save percentage.

GB were the huge outsiders heading to Slovakia, making their first appearance at this level since 1994.

However, positive performances against Germany and USA, despite those games ending in defeat, highlighted how Pete Russell's side would be no pushovers.

It can be argued that Britain were drawn into the harder of the two groups too, underlining the significance of their achievement.

While they may not be featuring in the latter stages of the tournament, GB's survival has emerged as one of the stories of this year's competition.

It means that, against all the odds, they will return in Switzerland in 2020.

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