GB U16S WIN THE INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT

Great Britain have won the inaugural IHUK U16 International tournament after an 11-1 success over Spain on Friday morning.

Rob Wilkinson’s side completed a clean sweep of victories against Belgium, Netherlands and Spain to claim the trophy at Dumfries Ice Bowl.

Coming into the final game both sides had won two from two, with Spain holding the edge due to slightly better goal difference.

That advantage was swept away in a four goal blast in just over ten minutes to take a commanding 4-0 lead into the first break.

Cade Neilson opened the scoring at 7.25, his back hand shot finding the roof of the net. The GB powerplay unit clicked into action in the 11th minute as Sam Talbot tipped in Neilson’s shot to make it 2-0 at 10.05.

GB bagged a quick brace in the 18th minute to take full control of the match. First George Hoang let fly a bullet from the point at 17.00 before Dumfries-based Lewis Houston one-timed from the slot after Neilson fed the pass from behind the goalline.

Spain did get themselves on the scoreboard with a powerplay effort from dangerman Liam O’Hare at 25.43 but Great Britain replied instantly through Tommy Huggett and the four-goal margin was restored 25 seconds later.

Huggett netted his second just past the half hour going short side on goalie Hernandez to bring up GB’s half dozen.

Spain had an opportunity to reply on a powerplay in 34th minute but GB killed the penalty in fantastic style – scoring not one but two shorthanded goals.

First Lewis Houston netted his second at 33.32 before just 13 seconds later Patrick Larkin fired a wrist shot into the net for GB’s eighth goal.

There was still time for Jamie Ord to get on the goalscoring act at 37.14 and it was 9-1 after two periods of play.

GB gave up six powerplay chances in the final period as Spain battled for a consolation goal but the special teams were on form with Brad Windebank the final line of defence, making 16 saves in total during the game.

The icing was put on the score with Neilson’s second goal and fifth point at 54.46 to bring up double figures, and Patrick Larkin also bagged his brace four minutes from time to complete the win.

img_0708Tommy Huggett was named GB player of the game before captain Reece Cochrane received the trophy to kick off huge celebrations from the players, staff and supporters.

After the game, assistant coach Sean Easton said: “The improvement the players have shown in the four days we’ve been here has been night and day. They’ve bought into the system really quickly, they work well together and it’s a nice group to be with.

“As coaches we’ve stressed now that the off-ice professionalism they’ve shown this week should be taken back to their clubs and the players have to make it a life long habit.

“We go away again in April so the players and staff will keep working and look to raise the bar again.”

In Friday’s other game the Netherlands claimed third place with a 7-1 win over Belgium.