Netminder Ben Bowns says Great Britain are proud of their performance against Slovakia in the World Championship this afternoon, but left the ice frustrated by the 2-1 defeat in the Olympic Sports Centre.
Liam Kirk scored his second goal of the tournament as GB vastly improved on the 7-1 defeat from the meeting between the two sides in Kosice in 2019.
Bowns, who made 41 saves against Slovakia, said: “To be with these guys is a nice end to every year, but this year more than ever it’s really good to be around this group again.
“It’s nice to be playing at that speed and playing at that level again. You play more natural and with instinct. It shows when we play at this level how good we can be.
“We should be proud of what we have done but, at the same time, frustrated we didn’t get more from the game.
“We were probably the better side for the last five minutes, maybe even 10 minutes. It’s a big, big positive and a big step forward from 2019.”
GB have lost their opening two matches in Group A after a 7-1 defeat by Russia in their first game of the tournament on Saturday – and they return to action on Tuesday when they face Denmark (14:15 UK time).
“I felt for the first five minutes against Russia we were the better team, but then they really hit us hard,” said Bowns.
“But we didn’t let our heads drop and we kept on going, which was crucial.
“I think there’s a real belief around this room that we belong here. There is no question that we deserve to be here.
“We stayed up on our own merit, got here on our own merit, so why shouldn’t we be here and why shouldn’t we stay here.”
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 v Denmark – 16:15 face-off (14:15 UK time)
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.