International Ice Hockey Federation

GB edges Estonia

GB edges Estonia

OT required to down pesky Estonia

Published 18.04.2016 21:53 GMT+2 | Author Henrik Manninen
GB edges Estonia
Estonia's Vassili Titarenko duels with Jonathan Weaver of Great Britain Photo:Igor Soban
Despite pushed to the wire, Great Britain stays undefeated as one of the main contenders for promotion from Division IB.

An overtime winner by Great Britain's Robert Dowd sealed a 4-3 win against Estonia at 2016 IIHF World Championship Division I Group B.

Dowd led the way with a powerplay strike 3:12 into overtime which keeps Great Britain undefeated after two games.

Also standing out for Great Britain was Russell Cowley with two goals and a helper. Ben Bowns in goal recorded 25 saves.

"It was certainly not the best performance you will ever see, but we got it done," said Great Britain head coach Peter Russell.  "We know we can do much better than that but we got that win, which was important.

Estonia recorded their first point of the tournament. Their first line carried a heavy shift with Aleksandr Petrov leading the way scoring 2+1 and at the back Villem-Henrik Koitmaa was solid in net with 33 saves.

Estonia head coach Jussi Tupamaki said after the game: "It was important to show that we are here to fight for wins and although the penalty we took when they scored their 4-3 goal was disappointing we played really well for 60 minutes."

Great Britain need only 26 seconds to open the scoring. An unorthodox high puck bounced down to Russell Cowley in offensive zone before Craig Peacock managed to control it to open the scoring.

The uphill struggle continued when lax defending by Estonians saw Dowd wriggle clear along the left boards to pick out Cowley in the slot for a cool finish past Koitmaa to double Great Britain's lead at 12:43.

But Estonia fought themselves back into the game, outshot Great Britain 12-10 in the first frame and at 13:10, the Estonians made it 2-1 on a sweet Aleksandr Petrov tip off from Lauri Lahesalu's blueline shot following fine work by Robert Rooba.

Estonia got yet another nightmare start 55 seconds into the middle frame when Great Britain surged forward thanks to 40-year-old Ashley Tait who spun around Lauri Lahesalu to pick out Cowley at the back post who with ease directed the puck past Koitmaa for 3-1

Showing great resilience Estonia once again replied through their inspirational first line. Lahesalu hit a pinpoint pass from defensive zone to Petrov who raced clear to hit home 3-2 at 33:11.

Jonathan Weaver hit the post with a low drive five minutes into the final frame and when penalties started to take their toll on Great Britain, it was the first line of Estonia that once again got them back into the game.

Petrov being the instigator, picking out Andrei Makrov whose drive from the left point tied the game at 53:05.

A careless Makrov then soon after became the culprit as he picked up an interference penalty 2:56 into overtime. 16 seconds later Dowd's low shot from the left side sealed Great Britain's overtime win.

"It shows the spirit of the squad in that we did not panic and found a way to claim the extra point," said head coach Russell as Great Britain with five points after two games now face Lithuania next on Wednesday.

Estonia will take great heart from their second day performance ahead of their encounter with Ukraine during day 3.

 

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