FOUR NATIONS: ICELAND 2-1 GB U18 WOMEN

Great Britain Under-18 Women finish second in the Four Nations in Reykjavik despite a penalty-shot defeat by Iceland.

The game ended 1-1 after overtime but superb finishes from Kolbrun Gardarsdottir and April Orongan in the shootout secured the hosts the extra point.

Spain, who earlier in the day were 4-3 winners over Poland, won the tournament with a maximum nine points from three matches.

Britain netminder Mali Easton – on her first start of the tournament – made 27 saves, while Elouise Porter was named as GB’s player of the game. Abby Rowbotham did not ice for a third game in a row because of injury.

The alternate captains were named as Ellie Wallace and Lydia Walsh as the coaching staff continued the rotation of the captaincy team.

Walsh goal puts GB ahead 
GB scored the only goal of the first period as Walsh’s one-time shot from the top of the right circle crept in at the near post (16:23).

Easton faced 10 shots in the first session and had to make a fine double save to deny Eva Hlynsdottir and Arna Fridjonsdottir from close range.

Iceland hit back to force overtime
After a scoreless second period, GB went close early in the third but Jessica Jones was denied on breakaway.

Iceland equalised at 47:32 through a great goal from Hilma Bergsdottir, who skated right to left in the offensive zone before firing past Easton.

The hosts came close to a late winner but Easton produced a superb glove save to stop Saga Sigurdardottir.

Hosts take extra point with shootout victory
Iceland went into overtime on the powerplay and Gardarsdottir’s bullet shot hit the post, while GB had a powerplay of their own to end the game but could not find a way past Andrea Bachmann.

GB were unable to convert in the shootout, so¬†Gardarsdottir and Orongan’s successful penalty shots proved the difference.

The evening was concluded with a presentation ceremony with captain Chamonix Jackson being named as GB’s player of the tournament.

Ashton: Great preparation for World Championship 
Head coach, James Ashton, said: “We knew Iceland would be a tough game. They played with heart and passion. It was important for us to make sure we gave everyone ice-time and also a big first game for Mali.

“We wanted to win, we always do, but we knew when they tied the game we had to ensure we played smart. Getting to overtime ensured second place and we learnt a lot from the experience.

“The coaching staff will now review the games and see what we need to do to improve and then pass this knowledge to our players.

“They all played with heart and passion and will take memories away. We have time to learn and improve and prepare for our Worlds.”