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GB relegated after defeat to Norway

Photo: Dean Woolley

Great Britain were relegated from the top flight of World Ice Hockey after a disappointing 5-2 defeat to Norway in Prague.

The defeat meant that GB could no longer catch neither Norway or Austria, and were therefore confirmed back down in Division 1A with a game to still left to play.

Knowing that a win would keep them up, it was a disastrous opening period for Pete Russel's men. Markus Vikingstad and Patrick Thoresen scored just over two minutes apart to put Norway 2-0 ahead with under seven minutes played. Eskild Bakke Olsen made it 3-0 at 12:25 as GB struggled to generate any Grade A scoring chances. 

Michael Brandsegg-Nygård converted a powerplay off a Josh Batch Cross-Check 78 seconds into period two to put Norway in complete control. Brett Perlini pulled one back at 24:56 to give GB some hope. Liam Kirk didn't take a shift in the second period.

Bakke Olsen put Norway back four ahead 4:36 into period three, while a neat finish from Ollie Betterige got GB back to within three again with 12:35 to go. 

Head Coach, Pete Russell, said: ”This team has emptied the bag for the whole tournament. We lost Kirky (Liam Kirk) who had been ill all night and we lost Cam Critchlow.

"This is the hardest tournament we've been too. We've come up against top-class players and I think every player has done the country proud. We've been facing the best teams in the world.

"We've been at the top level for four of the past five years and that's an achievement. We desperately wanted to stay up but it wasn't to be.

"Our players have given everything. That dressing room is so down now but it's our job to get them back up again and come back for the final game against Austria."

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