International Ice Hockey Federation

Big Ben strikes again

Big Ben strikes again

Korea blows 2-0 lead against GB

Published 16.04.2015 23:38 GMT+2 | Author Joeri Loonen
Big Ben strikes again
Ben O'Connor's magic moment scoring on a penalty shot between his legs Photo: Thijs de Witte
Defenceman Ben O'Connor superb penalty shot has Great Britain take sole possession of first place in the group. Another comeback has them defeat Korea 3-2.

It was a bold move to make. With the score tied at two a piece, Ben O'Connor skated in on Korea netminder Sungje Park and did something he had never done in a game before. He turned his back and lifted the puck between his legs into the top corner leaving Park speechless.

"I do this at practice every week," said Ben O'Connor who smiled from ear to ear. "This move was on my mind all the time, but I just haven't done it in a game yet."

The masterpiece was the icing on the cake of a close game between Great Britain and Korea who both were playing for the top spot in the group and taking gold medal destiny in own hands.

The fans had to be patient for goals between the two gold medal promotion hopefuls. Twenty two seconds before the end of the first period the deadlock was finally broken when Don Ku Lee's slapshot was given a nifty deflection by Woosang Park leaving Ben Bowns without a chance.

Both defences were less sturdy in the second stanza with the first two shots of the period turning out to be goals. Barely thirty seconds into the period, Kisung Kim let a backhander go after a spin-o-rama move which went through the legs of the Britsh netminder who didn't look good at the play.

Luckily for him Great Britain responded immediately. Sixteen seconds later Robert Farmer found a loose puck in the slot and without hesitation sent it into the top corner to cut the deficit into half.

"That goal came far too quick after ours," commented Mike Testwuide. "But even so, we were still in the lead and there was no problem but somehow we ran into penalty trouble and with that squandered the lead."

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Farmers' goal gave the Brits a moral boost. They physically outmanned their Asian counterparts and forced Korea into taking penalties. A full two minute 5-on-3 opportunity went wasted but when a similar situation was provided to them midway the second period, Great Britain was sure not to be denied again. Jonathan Weaver left a puck for Ben O'Connor who rifled it home with sheer force. There was even more possible for Team GB but especially Robert Lachowicz saw two golden opportunities thwartened by Korean goalie Sungje Park.

With the group's top spot at stake, both teams started the third period cautious. It was a rare breakaway attempt that decided the game. Defenceman Russell Cowley paced into the clear and rounded the goalie. Yoowhan Kim saw no other opportunity to stop Cowley from scoring then to throw his stick before crashing into the goalpost himself. The resulting penalty shot was beautifully converted by Ben O'Connor who was saluted by his team mates in the bench.

The defenceman now has three goals in three games and is an offensive dynamo for the Brits.

With time running out Korea tried to force an equalizer but Great Britain limited them to very few shots even with the Sungje Park being pulled by coach Jim Paek. The few shots that did come through were comfortably held by Ben Bowns.

"We couldn't find our skating game," said Testwuide crediting Great Britain for its performance. "Whatever we tried, they were always thwartening us. They played a very strong game today. Now we have to hope for them to slip up and win the last two games ourselves."

The victory puts Great Britain ahead of Korea by two points. It is their third one-goal win and second comeback from a 2-0 deficit. 

Korea now has to hope for Great Britain to lose any points in one of their remaining two games. If not the ambitious country will have to prolongue it's stay in Division 1B next year.


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