GREAT BRITAIN U18S 5-4 HUNGARY U18S

Kieran Brown scored a hat-trick, including the game-winner with under two minutes remaining, as Great Britain Under-18s beat Hungary Under-18s 5-4 in the U18 World Championship Division I Group B in Szekesfehervar.

After defeats by Slovenia U18s and Japan U18s in their opening two games, GB roared back with three powerplay goals and one short-handed for their first victory of the tournament.

GB lead with two top-class goals
Britain netminder Lucas Brine had to be at his best in the opening stages to turn away a couple of close-range efforts before GB took the lead on the powerplay.

Sam Talbot broke at speed into the offensive zone, beat two challenges and scored on his backhand (4:48), but Hungary hit back with a well-worked powerplay goal of their own as Balazs Varga netted at the backdoor (11:16).

GB went ahead short-handed as moments after Patrick Larkin was denied on a breakaway, Brown won the puck in his own zone and wheeled away to score on his backhand (17:18).

Powerplay goals put GB in control
Two powerplay goals in 42 seconds in the second period saw GB take full control as Hungary were made to pay for their indiscipline.

Brown scored his second of the night on the rebound in the right circle after Joe Hazeldine’s one-time blast was saved (24:35), before Bradley Bowering netted from close range (25:17).

Brine produced a fanastic point-blank save from Mate Sardi’s shot, but Hungary did get on the board again when Adam Szucs scored from the left circle after the puck had bounced back off the backboards (36:32).

Brown scores late winner
Hungary hit back with two powerplay goals as Gergo Ambrus touched the puck home after a scramble around the net (45:59) and Mark Schlekmann forced in a rebound at 49:52.

Brine made a number of excellent saves to keep the game tied and at 58:08 Brown completed his hat-trick, sweeping home Mason Alderson’s clever backhand pass.

Head coach, Martin Grubb, said: “I thought we started really well and when we were five-on-five, we were dominating the game as we have in most games.

“We got ourselves ahead in a good position and we were good on the powerplay with three goals, but then we took too many penalties and it started to cost us again.

“We then showed what huge character we have in this group and made sure we found a way to win tonight and the boys deserve the credit they receive.

“We now can recover and focus ourselves for Austria and will be trying to play as much even-handed hockey as possible and see where it takes us.”

There are no games in the tournament tomorrow but GB play their fourth game on Friday as they face Austria Under-18s (11:30am UK time).

Photo credit: Podium Prints (follow them on Instagram and Facebook).