Great Britain ice hockey team target win from last two matches at IIHF World Championships in Tampere

JONATHAN PHILLIPS said Great Britain needed to quickly refocus ahead of the two games pivotal to their chances of avoiding relegation from the top tier of the World Championships.
GB netminder Ben Bowns (right) denies Finland's Valtteri Fippula. Picture Dean Woolley/IHUK.GB netminder Ben Bowns (right) denies Finland's Valtteri Fippula. Picture Dean Woolley/IHUK.
GB netminder Ben Bowns (right) denies Finland's Valtteri Fippula. Picture Dean Woolley/IHUK.

Pete Russell’s team are still seeking their first win of the tournament, suffering a third straight shutout on their way to a 6-0 defeat to world No 1-ranked Finland in Tampere yesterday.

They return to action on Sunday against Latvia before finishing off their campaign against Austria 24 hours later.

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Having gained a point in their shoot-out defeat to Norway, one win could be enough to keep GB in the top pool of nations for a fourth successive year.

“We can only take positives from each game and keep building,” said GB and Sheffield Steelers’ captain Phillips. “We’ve got two huge games coming up and we just need to refocus for them.

“Realistically our focus has always been about the last one or two games and this kind of tournament is a mental game – you can’t get too high, can’t get too low. We have to try and stay on as much of an even keel as possible and build our momentum towards them last couple of games.”

The tournament hosts took the lead at 6.48 when Niklas Friman’s shot deflected past Ben Bowns off a skate, their advantage doubling just under five minutes later through Juuso Hietanen.

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Mikael Granlund’s pass was tipped in by Valtteri Fippula for Finland’s third at 26.40, while Joel Armia’s effort cannoned in off the skate of Steelers’ Evan Mosey just under two minutes later.

Saku Maenalanen tipped in to make it 5-0 at 49.01 before Toni Rajala completed the scoring on the power play, his shot deflecting past Bowns at 55.42.