Great Britain ice hockey promoted to IIHF World Championships elite

Other Sports
Great Britain celebrate after securing the gold against Hungary (photo credit: Dean Woolley)
Great Britain celebrate after securing the gold against Hungary (photo credit: Dean Woolley)

Great Britain Ice Hockey secured an historic promotion to join up with World hockey's elite after a 2-2 regulation time result against Hungary.

They would go onto secure all points available after a victory on penalty shots, but the job was already done at the end of 60 minutes.

Pete Russell's side needed a single point to secure promotion to the top level for the first time since 1994, and looked set to miss out when they went 2-0 down in the third period.

However, Sheffield Steelers' Robert Dowd struck with 50:55 on the clock to half the deficit.

Then, with just 16 seconds remaining, Nottingham Panthers' Robert Farmer was in the right place to score as his shot found a gap and left the Hungarian crowd stunned.

A last-gasp chance for the hosts was denied by Cardiff Devils' netminder Ben Bowns, which sparked wild celebrations from the team in white and blue, despite overtime still to come.

Bowns would prove to be the hero in the shootout as he saved four of the five shots from the Hungarian side.

The result means that Great Britain could face the likes of USA, Canada and Sweden in the 2019 tournament held in Slovakia, who qualified as hosts.

Speaking to IHUK media, Head Coach Russell said: "We dared to dream and we did it. I just cannot believe it.

"This team is very special and what we have pulled off is absolutely unbelievable.

"We did not give up and showed true British spirit to pull that one out of the bag.

"I am so proud of every single one of them and we will now play the best teams in the world next year.

"Our team work rate was immense every single night and they dug need to provide GB with one of our greatest-ever moments.”

Analysis

Tom Carnduff discusses Great Britain's victory...

For Great Britain to be stepping into the László Papp Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest needing just a point to secure promotion would have been a dream seven days ago, let alone winning gold and promotion.

The achievement can be seen as nothing short of miraculous, given how this side were written off by many before the tournament had even started.

Yet, here they are, champions of Division 1A and heading to the World Championships next year, where they'll rub shoulders with the finest players and best teams on the international scene.

A hefty defeat to the fancied Kazakhstan side should have sent GB crashing back down to Earth following their opening day victory over Slovenia.

Instead, they would go onto win their remaining three games and come out of an incredibly open group with a gold medal.

This was a group with a Slovenia side who featured at the recent Winter Olympics, beating the United States, and a Kazakh side who possess KHL and other top league talent.

Considered a 'minority sport' in this country, the fact that they will now be testing themselves against the very best just highlights the underdog status of this team going into the tournament.

Hopefully it'll be a catalyst to help the sport develop further, creating a legacy that Britain can build upon for further appearances at this level.

Two silver medals in the lower division proved to be a huge learning curve for both the coaching staff and squad, and consecutive golds show the belief within the group, and the belief surrounding this group of players.

What will they achieve in Slovakia next year? Who knows - but they'll go with an even bigger underdog tag than the one they wear now.

In all honesty, they can go and enjoy it more than anything, and try to cause a few more upsets along the way.


Related ice hockey links

Most Read

Follow the action from day one of the PDC Champions League of Darts1

Champions League of Darts Live!

Follow day two of the Champions League of Darts with live scores and video highlights as the likes of MVG, Gary Anderson & Mensur Suljovic bid for glory.

Roaring Lion edges past Saxon Warrior in a famous tussle2

Classic option for 5/1 Lion

John Gosden is not ruling out a tilt at the Breeders' Cup Classic with Roaring Lion who is 5/1 (non-runner/no bet) with Sky Bet for the Churchill Downs showpiece.

Enable storms to victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe3

Gosden stars heading to Arc

John Gosden has issued positive bulletins on Enable and Cracksman who are both heading to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Anthony Joshua on his way to victory at Wembley4

Wilder or Whyte next for Joshua

Anthony Joshua has targeted Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte in his pursuit of an opponent for his April 13 date at Wembley.

Mensur Suljovic with the Champions League of Darts trophy (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)5

Champions League of Darts 2018

The full draw, schedule, results and odds from the BBC-televised Champions League of Darts, which takes place at The Brighton Centre on September 22-23.

Most Read

Follow the action from day one of the PDC Champions League of Darts1

Champions League of Darts Live!

Follow day two of the Champions League of Darts with live scores and video highlights as the likes of MVG, Gary Anderson & Mensur Suljovic bid for glory.

Roaring Lion edges past Saxon Warrior in a famous tussle2

Classic option for 5/1 Lion

John Gosden is not ruling out a tilt at the Breeders' Cup Classic with Roaring Lion who is 5/1 (non-runner/no bet) with Sky Bet for the Churchill Downs showpiece.

Enable storms to victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe3

Gosden stars heading to Arc

John Gosden has issued positive bulletins on Enable and Cracksman who are both heading to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Anthony Joshua on his way to victory at Wembley4

Wilder or Whyte next for Joshua

Anthony Joshua has targeted Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte in his pursuit of an opponent for his April 13 date at Wembley.

Mensur Suljovic with the Champions League of Darts trophy (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)5

Champions League of Darts 2018

The full draw, schedule, results and odds from the BBC-televised Champions League of Darts, which takes place at The Brighton Centre on September 22-23.

Racing Tips

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Monday's racing preview

Nick Grant makes War Eagle his best Monday bet and has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

A 7/2 winner for David Ord at Hamilton on Sunday - and he heads back to the same track for Monday's best bet.

Horses parade in the sun at Sandown Park

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in September 2018.

Next Race Off
17:45 Navan
11
(0)
Ace Combat
J: Graham Atkinson
7
(0)
Stooshie
J: Killian McCarthy
5
(0)
Brutal
J: Rachael O'Callanan

Football Tips

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Horses parade in the sun at Sandown Park

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in September 2018.

Lewis Grabban scores from the spot

Sporting Life Acca lands

Wins for Nottingham Forest, Charlton Athletic, Doncaster Rovers and Exeter City ensured Sporting Life's Saturday Football accumulator landed.