Great Britain U20 lost their final game of the Division 1B tournament in Budapest on Saturday night, going down 3-1 to Ukraine. The result means GB finish bottom of the standings and are relegated to Division 2A for next season.
Starting with Renny Marr for the fifth straight game, a nervous looking GB only had two shots in the first period compared to 16 the other way. Ukraine opened their scoring in the fifth minute as Anton Ruban got the decisive touch past Marr.
After the first intermission Great Britain created several scoring chances, boosted by two powerplay chances. GB however were foiled by the Ukraine goalie Dyachenko. On a rare counter attack, Ukraine doubled their lead with what turned out to be the crucial goal.
Andriy Denyskin passed from behind the net for Mykyta Kovalenko to one-time into the net at 37.03.
GB had two more powerplay chances at the start of the third period as they applied some serious pressure to the Ukraine defence but again couldn’t get past Dyachenko between the pipes.
The Ukraine goal was finally breached in the 51st minute as Glenn Billing and Lee Bonner combined to create the chance for Duncan Speirs who fired into the net and gave GB renewed hope.
Stupak reacted to a clean hit by GB’s Lee Bonner to take a roughing minor shortly after the goal and on the powerplay GB did practically everything but score. As time wound down coach Martin Grubb called timeout at 58.41 with GB having an attacking zone faceoff and withdrew Renny Marr for an extra attacker.
When the puck was cleared back to the blueline, defenceman Ed Knaggs played to shoot the puck on net only for his stick to break, handing a breakaway to Yaroslav Svishev and the Ukraine forward gleefully skated to the face off circles before slotting into the empty net with 41 seconds remaining.
GB pulled Marr again and got the puck to the net but man of the match Dyachenko and his defence held firm and Ukraine held on to their Division 1B status.
Ed Knaggs was GB player of the game, while Glenn Billing picked up the Player of the Tournament award.
After the match the GB Supporters Club awarded their player of the week to goalie Renny Marr.
The players return home tomorrow (Sunday) and there will be more reaction online then.
Photo Credit: Duncan Speirs