International Ice Hockey Federation

GB in full control

GB in full control

Scores eight against lacklustre Lithuania

Published 20.04.2016 21:53 GMT+2 | Author Henrik Manninen
GB in full control
Croatia,Zagreb, 20.04.2016.WM Div IB IIHF ICE HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Great Britain-Lithuania Photo:Igor Soban
Dominant from start to finish, Great Britain's scoring spree and shutout against Lithuania keeps them firmly in race for promotion.

A middle frame explosion of six unanswered goals and 27-3 in shots saw Great Britain charge ahead to an unassailable lead as Lithuania was blanked 8-0 to remain undefeated.

Russell Cowley, Jonathan Phillips and defenceman Ben O'Connor all recorded 1+2. While Robert Lachowicz and Ross Venus celebrated their first goals at World Championship level.

At the back netminder Ben Bowns enjoyed a shutout on a quiet afternoon with only ten saves.

"That was a brilliant performance and one everyone should be very proud of," said Great Britain head coach Peter Russell." I would say it was the best performance since I became head coach."

Lithuania who came in to this game undefeated mustered only 10 shots throughout the encounter.

During their last two meetings at this level it had been Lithuania who came out on top. This time around, it was to be a one-sided affair as Great Britain controlled the game from start to finish.

Lithuania's teenage netminder Artur Pavliukov got off to an unlucky start as Jonathan Phillips snatched the puck off him to open the scoring for Great Britain at 8:34. Veteran Ashley Tait then doubled their lead with a one-timer with 2:31 left of the period following fine work by Cowley.

Great Britain who came into the game without their top scorer in the tournament, Robert Dowd, charged ahead during a second period and only needed 13 seconds to add a third unanswered goal thanks to a composed finish by Venus.

4-0 came after Lachowicz institaged a move from his own defensive zone with a pass to Jonathan Phillips and then sneaked up to finish the job off with a puck past the hapless Pavliukov.

A Lithuania timeout did not help matters much as O'Connor found the top corner from the edge of the right point for 5-0 just after the halfway mark of the middle frame.

Just 23 seconds after Donatas Zukovas replaced Pavliukov in the Lithuania net, Great Britain got on the scoresheet once again when Boxill barged in a rebound.

Great Britain added further gloss to the scoreline when Zukovas was unable to hold on to a bullet by O'Connor as Cowley bundled in number seven at 36:15. Colin Shields then found the top corner to finish off the scoring at 39:00 in what was a miserable afternoon for Lithuania.

"Every game starts with zero goals, but you have to keep working for sixty minutes, not take stupid penalties and Great Britain gave us a lesson in the second period when they outskated and outshot us," said Lithuania head coach Bernd Haake who now will have to look to get his players back to winning ways in their final two games as a third consecutive World Championship bronze medal is still within reach for his fledging group of players.

"Our main goal when arriving here was not to go down. We have 11 players missing who we had hoped would be here, but it does not matter, because in our two first games we did a very good job, beating Estonia and Romania."

"Now our next target is Ukraine and then Croatia, so we have to surprise another team if we want to get a medal and that we can only do by working harder and getting no penalties."

For Great Britain who appear to have hit top form now face Romania next on Friday ahead of their final day encounter with Ukraine.


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