Debutant Ciaran Long says Great Britain’s 3-2 overtime defeat by Denmark in the World Championship in Latvia will “leave a sour taste”, but believes the team can build on the result for the rest of the tournament.
After defeats by Russia and Slovakia in Group A of the Olympic Sports Centre in Riga, GB produced another superb performance against Denmark, who are ranked 12th in the world.
Ben O’Connor put GB ahead but after Denmark turned the game around to lead 2-1, Mike Hammond scored with under four minutes remaining to take the game to overtime.
Nicklas Jensen netted on the powerplay in the extra period to give the Danes the extra point.
“We have to take the positives from the game,” said Long. “I think we did well to get a point but it would have been nice to get two.
“We always want to win and of course this will leave a sour taste, but hopefully we can bounce back tomorrow against Belarus.
“The boys know what they did last tournament and this year the aim is to do better than the one win. I think if we keep pushing I do believe we could get a couple more wins.”
This evening’s game against Denmark was Long’s debut as he became the 422nd player to represent GB.
“Its been good,” continued Long. “It’s very quick out there and you have to make smart decisions
“I think watching for the first two games really benefitted me to see how quick everything was.
“I have had some experience in the Champions Hockey League with Belfast and being here has been a great experience so far.”
GB play the late game tomorrow with their game against Belarus facing-off at 6:15pm UK time.
All of GB’s games are live on FreeSports in the UK. FreeSports is available free on Sky Channel 422, Virgin Media Channel 553, on Channel 64 on Freeview and BT and via the FreeSports Player.
IIHF 2021 World Championship – GB results and fixtures
Saturday 22nd May – Great Britain 1-7 Russia – Goal: Liam Kirk
Sunday 23rd May – Great Britain 1-2 Slovakia – Goal: Liam Kirk
Tuesday 25th May – Great Britain 2-3 Denmark (overtime) – Goals: Ben O’Connor, Mike Hammond
Wednesday 26th May – Belarus v Great Britain – 20:15 face-off (18:15 UK time)
Friday 28th May – Sweden v Great Britain – 16:15 face-off (14:15 UK time)
Saturday 29th May – Czech Republic v Great Britain – 12:15 face-off (10:15 UK time)
Tuesday 1st June – Switzerland v Great Britain – 12:15 face-off (10:15 UK time)
Photo credit: Dean Woolley.