Epic GB win secures safety

The Bolton News: WINNER: Robert Dowd scores the game-winning goal against Hungary. picture by Diane Davey WINNER: Robert Dowd scores the game-winning goal against Hungary. picture by Diane Davey

GB ICE HOCKEY: Great Britain have secured their World Championship (Division 1A) safety with a final-day 5-4 victory over Hungary in Slovenia.

After Ukraine beat Japan on penalty shots earlier in the day, GB needed at least an overtime or penalty-shot defeat to stay up.

Captain Jonathan Phillips gave GB an early lead at 01:53, but Hungary turned the game around with goals from Marton Vas (03:05) and Csaba Kovacs (06:45).

Corey Neilson was given a game misconduct penalty for boarding, before Robert Dowd's powerplay goal at 17:43 saw the sides tied at 2-2 at the end of the first period.

The second period was no less dramatic, Istvan Sofron's penalty shot (21:40) was replied to by a powerplay goal from Owen Fussey (34:02).

Hungary went in front for a third time at 36:25 thanks to Arpad Mihaly and GB hit back again with David Clarke's strike (39:44) coming 16 seconds before the second interval.

Dowd's second goal of the game, a penalty shot at 48:29, put GB just ahead before the midway point of the third period and proved the crucial game-winning goal.

Head coach Tony Hand said: "I told them to play as if your lives depended on it. All credit to my guys, they battled hard and dug in.

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"My guys were a credit to their country tonight and we're very happy to stay in the Pool.

"I think it's a great result and, because the Pool was so tough this year, you don't have your weaker teams at the bottom.

"For us it's huge, because obviously we want to progress and if you go down there's no guarantee of coming back up."

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