Great Britain secured their top-flight World Championship status with a stunning 4-3 overtime victory over France in their final game at the World Championship.
GB came from 3-0 down to level the game with goals from Robert Dowd, Mike Hammond and Robert Farmer, before Ben Davies scored the overtime-winning goal at 62:03 in one of the most dramatic moments in British ice hockey history.
GB on top in first period
GB had much the better of the chances in the first period as Davies broke away and tried a drop pass that just didn’t come off and Dowd saw his shot saved, while at the other end netminder Ben Bowns produced a fantastic stop with his pad following a two-on-one break.
Jonathan Phillips went close and Hammond just couldn’t get to the rebound, while Colin Shields – in his final game before retirement – was denied from the right circle and Liam Kirk hit the base of the left-hand post.
GB hit back after France open up three-goal lead
After good chances for Kirk and Ben Lake, France went ahead as Anthony Rech finished off a good move up the ice from the left circle (23:36).
France netted twice in six seconds as Florian Chakiachvili scored on the powerplay (27:31) and Rech broke clear thanks a clever face-off play for his second of the afternoon (27:37).
But GB powered their way back into the game as Ben O’Connor’s perfect pass sent Dowd free who fired top shelf on the backhand (34:59).
O’Connor then saw his blueline shot saved and Hammond reacted first to the rebound for his fourth goal of the tournament (38:04).
Davies wins it in overtime
GB remarkably hauled themselves level as Farmer stepped out from the right-hand side and fired top shelf (45:16).
The game went to overtime and Jonathan Phillips used all his strength to get the puck to Davies, who produced a fantastic backhand finish to win the game.
Head coach, Pete Russell, said: “This is massive moment for the team and a massive moment in British ice hockey.
“At 3-0 we did not panic. I looked at the guys in the timeout and I knew which team was winning this game. They knew they could still do it.
“What they have just achieved is the biggest thing in their career. They drew strength from what they did in Hungary a year ago.
“They had the belief that they could win this game and I am so proud of every single one of them.”