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The Team GB Under-18 World Championships is here

The IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship Division II Group A is officially underway in Poland. Sean Easton’s 22-player squad travelled to their base in Sosnowiec on Thursday, playing their first game of the tournament today against hosts Poland.

MK Lightning’s Archie Salisbury has been appointed captain with Slough Jets forward Seb Mohr and Hull Seahawks forward Owen Bruton named assistants.

Photo credits: Team GB Ice Hockey

GB were defeated in the opening game of their campaign with Poland edging the win by six goals to four.

The hosts led by three goals after the first period, but #11 Jack Clarke started GB’s comeback with the first goal of the second period; #5 Noah Kaariainen danced around the defencemen before shooting the puck towards goal with his effort met by Clarke who directed it around the netminder to get his side on the board.

#13 Rhys Edwards scored in his debut tournament to make it 3-2 after #10 Jordan O’Brien applied pressure to Poland behind the net, retrieving the puck and pulling it around the goal for the Seahawks forward to tap into an empty net.

Captain #4 Archie Salisbury tied things up 40 seconds into the start of the third period with a powerful shot from the blueline making its way into the Poland net.

Photo from PHTV livestream

Andrei Gusov’s side reinstated their lead, but #10 Jordan O’Brien got himself on the scoresheet at 52:35 to bring the score level once again; #3 Jake Hayward intercepted a Poland pass in the neutral zone before driving into GB’s offensive zone down the right flank and playing the puck to O’Brien to fire past the Polish netminder.

A fifth goal for the Poles led to #20 Benjamin Clarke-Leach being pulled with 54 seconds left to play in favour of an extra skater, but the hosts managed to work the puck into the vacated net making the final score 6-4.

The Brits have an opportunity to immediately bounce back with their second game coming tomorrow against Croatia. Fixtures at the weekend will see Salisbury lead his team out against Serbia and Romania before the tournament comes to a close on Tuesday against the Netherlands.

The winner of the six-team competition will be promoted to Division I of the World Championship.


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