International Ice Hockey Federation

Great Britain survives scare

Great Britain survives scare

Late goal seals victory over Estonia

Published 14.04.2015 21:12 GMT+2 | Author Joeri Loonen
Great Britain survives scare
Jonathan Phillips sees his effort blocked by Roman Shumkhin. Photo: Thijs de Witte.
Great Britain posts second consecutive victory thanks to another late goal.

Robert Farmer was at the right place at the right time to tip a rebound over Estonia goaltender Roman Shumikhin with less than six minutes left to play. The goal saved the team from blushes as Estonia proved a tougher opponent than initially expected.

"A good team always finds a way to win. Whether it's with 5-1 or 2-1, that doesn't matter, a win is a win," said defenceman Ben O'Connor.

Coming off a morale boosting overtime victory over Croatia yesterday, Great Britain had a difficult afternoon against Estonia. The Baltic side had already shown its prowess against Korea and seemed to be not impressed by the British team.

After both teams had squandered some early chances, the best chance of the opening period was for Estonia. Robert Rooba outskated Colin Shields on a short handed breakaway and the Great Britain forward could only stop the forward via a hook. The resulting penalty shot was not converted by Rooba, who plays for Espoo Blues in Finland. Rooba managed to round Bowns but wasnt able to lift the puck into the empty net any longer.

At 15:36, David Philips gave team GB the lead when his slapshot from just inside the faceoff circle flew over the stickhand of goaltender Roman Shumikhin who had a clear view on the puck but got surprised by the velocity of the shot.

Like in large parts of yesterday's game, Estonia did not look out of place playing against a higher ranked opponent. Their efforts were rewarded with a strong second period in which they outshot Great Britain 14-9. Initially Ben Bowns was able to show his quick glove hand on an Andrei Markov shot, but a few minutes later he stood no chance when Robert Rooba was the beneficiary of a poor defensive clearance by Ben O'Connor.

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The game, which was hardly interefered with stoppages or penalties, was still tied midway the third period leaving the Barmy Army in the arena anxious. After yesterday's climax against Croatia there weren't many nails left to bite on so they did their utmost to spurn their team forward by providing vocal and drum banging support.

Roman Shumukhin did prove a worthy replacement of Villem-Henrik Koitmaa who tended the net against Korea yesterday. But with six minutes left, he had no chance when Robert Farmer reacted quickest on a reboud in front of net to restore the British lead again.

O'Connor: "Estonia played very well and stronger than we expected. I don't think we underestimated them but it shows the lower seeded teams are getting better every year."

Great Britain held on in the final minutes to remain unbeaten. Estonia will be pleased with their performance this tournament but are still pointless after two games.

"The goal was a big relief for our whole team and especially for me after my earlier mistake," O'Connor admitted. "Now we can use the non playing day to get ready for our next game on Thursday in which we will try to stay unbeaten en route to our goal."


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