Great Britain began their back to back series with KHL side Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in Nottingham on Saturday night, running out 5-4 winners.
GB scratched Jackson Whistle, Steve Lee, David Phillips and Joey Lewis from their full squad while Torpedo arrived without a number of senior players following the end of their Gagarin Cup playoff campaign a few weeks ago.
FARMER! FARMER! FARMER! before Torpedo take the lead at first break
Great Britain started the brighter and were rewarded with the opening goal inside four minutes. Robert Farmer received the puck in neutral zone and skated into the Torpedo zone and beat a couple of defenders before slotting the puck past Andrei Tikhomirov in the visitors’ net.
Torpedo levelled at 6.04 as Donat Stalnov batted in a rebound after Ben Bowns had made the first stop. A giveaway by GB in front of their own goal moments later resulted in the go-ahead goal for Torpedo, Donat Stalnov firing low into the net.
Dowd at the double puts GB back on top
The home side were back on terms at 26.20 as Robert Dowd let fly from the top of the right circle into the net. Dowd made it a double three minutes later, right man right place to get the final touch at the top of the crease after great work down low by Ben Lake (29.19).
Great Britain had the puck in the net a fourth time late in the period but referee Dean Smith had blown the play dead seconds before. After a little skirmish beside the net the sides sat out matching unsportsmanlike minors and the period finished with GB just ahead.
Make Farms a treble as GB hang on
Torpedo continued to take minor penalties in the third frame, but their PK lead to the tying goal at 43.30 as Mikhail Varnakov skated in alone to beat Bowns and it was 3-3 at 43.30.
After a back and forth spell, Great Britain edged ahead with a powerplay goal from Robert Farmer, picking the top corner from down low at 53.09. Farmer went on to complete his hat trick with another PP marker after Torpedo’s Veryayev was thrown out for roughing (goal at 57.05).
A penalty on Matthew Myers two minutes from time put the sides at four on four, and after Torpedo pulled their goalie they pulled a goal back 19.8s from time, Dmitry Semin lifting the puck into the net.
Restarting without a Torpedo goalie, Great Britain held out winning a couple of key faceoffs and taking the win 5-4.
Robert Farmer picked up GB’s man of the match award, with Stalnov getting the award for the visitors.
The two sides meet again in Sheffield on Sunday afternoon (4pm faceoff) at FlyDSA Arena. Tickets still available from box office on 0114 256 5656.