Great Britain Under-20s began their U20 World Championship Division II Group A campaign with a 3-2 victory over Romania U20s.

Netminder Jordan Lawday, who was GB’s man of the match, turned away 30 of the 32 shots he faced, while Cole Shudra, Liam Kirk and Mac Howlett all had two-point nights.

GB came from 2-1 down early in the third period to take the three points for a winning start.

Romania settled the better in the opening stages of the first period and Tamas Ilyes hits the pipes from just out in front, but GB grew stronger the longer the period went on with Shudra and Craig Garrigan going close.

Britain made the perfect start to the second period and scored after only 11 seconds as Shudra worked his way in and his backhand pass set up Sam Duggan to score from close range (20:11).

Lawday twice denied Andrei Vasile from point-blank range, before Kirk hit the pipes at the other end.

But Romania equalised with the period coming to a close thanks to a superb top-shelf finish from Zoltan Sandor (38:27).

Romania took the lead moments after an early third-period powerplay came to an end as Zsolt Reszegh tipped in Robert Erencz-Csibi’s shot at 43:19.

GB levelled only 16 seconds later when Garrigan fired low into the left-hand corner of the net (43:35) and took the lead at 52:16 on the powerplay after neat move in front by Shudra to slip the puck past Ors Adorjan.

Britain had to kill off two late powerplays but held on for a three-point victory.

Assistant coach, Martin Grubb, said: “There was huge character shown by the players and the first game is about getting the points.

“We always knew there was going to be good parts of the game and parts we would need to correct, as we have only been skating together since Wednesday.

“But we have to be happy with that. The players dug deep and showed character and in the end we came away with our target which was a regulation win.”

Earlier in the day, Japan beat Netherlands 6-1 and Korea were victorious over Estonia 5-4 after a penalty shootout.

It means Japan lead the early table with GB in second place. Britain return to action tomorrow (Monday) when they face Estonia at 8pm.

Monday’s schedule
Netherlands v Korea – 1pm
Japan v Romania – 4:30pm
Great Britain v Estonia – 8pm

Click here for full results and tables on the IIHF tournament page.

Photo credit: Duncan Speirs.