If you thought 2018 was a dramatic year for Great Britain ice hockey, 2019 took it to another level for excitement and drama.
A silver medal, two bronze medals and perhaps one of those most stunning and important comebacks in Great Britain ice hockey history.
Final-day drama as GB keep top-flight status
Great Britain’s rise to the World Championship top flight has been one of fairytales. After a dominant display on home ice in Belfast in 2017 to win gold in the third tier, GB secured back-to-back promotions with the famous Robert Farmer goal in Hungary 12 months later.
This put them with the world’s elite in Slovakia back in May and what a ride it was in Kosice. One of the standout moments was giving USA a scare before losing 6-3 and the wonder save from Ben Bowns on this year’s number one NHL draft pick Jack Hughes.
And so to the final game – the equation was simple. GB needed to beat France to ensure a second season at the elite level.
GB found themselves 3-0 down and Pete Russell called his timeout. Afterwards, he said he looked in his players’ eyes and he knew they were not losing the game.
Goals from Robert Dowd, Mike Hammond and Robert Farmer levelled the game, before some wonder saves from Bowns in overtime.
A play from a face-off involving Jonathan Phillips and Ben Davies proved to be the winning moment and it was a play that the GB captain called.
He told Davies to win the face-off and push the puck forward. Phillips knew he had the beating of the French defence and, true to his word, he chased the puck down and fed it Davies in the slot who did the rest to secure a 4-3 overtime victory.
GB Women secure final-day win for silver
Great Britain Women won the silver medal at the Women’s World Championship Division II Group A on home ice in Dumfries.
After a 2-1 victory over Australia Women, GB were beaten 4-2 by eventual gold-medal winners Slovenia Women.
A 3-2 overtime win over Mexico Women was followed by a 4-1 victory against Spain Women.
Netminder Nicole Jackson won her 50th cap in the final game against DPR Korea Women, which GB won 2-1 to secure silver.
DPR Korea took a first-period lead but goals in the second session from Kim Lane and Shannon Douglas ensured a GB success.
Bronze medal for Great Britain Under-20s
Great Britain U20s scored a hatful of goals in winning the bronze medal at the U20 World Championship Division II Group A in Tallinn.
GB lost 6-4 to Lithuania U20s in a 10-goal thriller on opening day before Chad Smith and Josh Waller scored hat-tricks in a 13-1 thrashing of Korea U20s.
A 5-2 defeat to Estonia U20s followed but medal hopes were kept alive as Liam Kirk scored twice in a 4-2 victory over Romania U20s.
Jordan Buesa and Tyler Cooper both netted twice, while Liam Kirk took his points total for the tournament to 14 (5+9) as GB were 7-2 winners over Spain U20s on the final day.
They had to wait for two results go their way later in the day before the bronze was secured and U20s head coach Slava Koulikov said: “I am pleased for the lads that they take a medal home with them and we can build on this for the future.”
GB Under-18 Women excel to win bronze
Great Britain Under-18 Women produced a fantastic tournament to win the bronze on home ice in Dumfries in the U18 Women’s World Championship Division I Group B.
After an opening-day overtime 2-1 defeat by Poland U18 Women, GB lost 3-0 to France U18 Women.
The result of the tournament followed as GB beat top seeds Norway U18 Women 1-0 after penalty shots.
Netminder Ella Howard secured a 48-shot shutout, while Chloe Riley scored the winning penalty in sudden death.
GB then beat China U18 Women 1-0 before a 4-2 victory over Netherlands U18 Women on the final day.
Chloe Headland scored two third-period goals, while Sophie Campbell and Verity Lewis were also on target as GB secured the bronze medal.
GB U18s relegated despite four-point haul
Great Britain Under-18s were relegated from the World Championship Division I Group B in Hungary, despite picking up a win and an overtime defeat for a four-point haul.
GB lost 3-2 in the opening game to number one seeds Slovenia U18s with Alex Graham scoring on his international debut, before a 5-3 defeat by Japan U18s.
Kieran Brown scored a hat-trick, including the game-winner with under two minutes remaining, as GB beat Hungary U18s 5-4 in game three.
Captain Mason Alderson scored twice, including an equaliser with 84 seconds remaining, as GB were beaten 3-2 after overtime by Austria U18s.
GB’s final game saw them go down 3-1 to Italy U18s. Such was the closeness of the group, a GB victory would have secured the bronze medal but instead they were relegated by the narrowest of margins.