Ice Hockey UK and everyone connected with Great Britain ice hockey would like to wish you all a happy new year – and what a year 2018 was!

Two World Championship gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal, while teenager Liam Kirk was drafted in the 2018 NHL draft.

Stunning gold and promotion for GB
Great Britain were promoted to the top flight of World Championship ice hockey for the first time since 1994 following a dramatic Division I Group A tournament in Budapest back in April.

GB had already defied the odds to beat Slovenia, Poland and Italy and needed only a point from the final game against Hungary to win promotion and the gold medal.

Trailing 2-0 with just under 10 minutes to go, Robert Dowd closed the gap and Ben Bowns saved a penalty shot, before Robert Farmer equalised with 15 seconds remaining to secure the point GB needed to win promotion.

Pete Russell’s side crowned an unforgettable night by going on to win the game on penalty shots – and you can relive all the action below…

GB Women take home the silver from Slovenia
Great Britain Women won the silver medal at the World Championship Division II Group A in Maribor and came so close to gold and promotion to Division I.

After convincing wins over Australia (5-1), DPR Korea (3-1), Mexico (5-0) and Slovenia (4-1), Cheryl Smith’s side faced a winner-takes-all encounter with Netherlands

Promotion was not to be for GB as the Dutch ran out 4-0 winners and GB secured the silver medal.

One of GB’s biggest wins was their 5-0 success over Mexico and you can watch it below…

GB U20s secure bronze on home ice
Great Britain Under-20s won a bronze medal at the World Championship Division II Group A on home ice in Dumfries.

GB beat Romania (3-2), Estonia (6-2) and Netherlands (8-1) before a penalty-shot defeat by Korea after the game ended 4-4.

A victory in their final game against Japan would have meant promotion and the gold medal, but GB were beaten 5-2 and secured the bronze medal.

You can watch the highlights from a dramatic final day below…

Thrilling gold medal for GB U18s
Great Britain Under-18s secured promotion and the gold medal at a remarkable World Championship Division II Group A in Tallinn.

Led by Tony Hand, GB beat Estonia (6-3) and Australia (9-2), before losing 5-4 to Poland.

GB then beat Lithuania 3-2 and followed that up with a 4-3 victory over Korea on the final day.

They then had to sit and wait and hope Poland dropped a point in the final game of the tournament against Estonia.

Poland led at one stage 3-0 but Estonia stormed back to tie the game at 3-3 and the dropped point for the Polish meant GB had won gold and promotion to Division I.

Click here to read more about a dramatic final day.

GB U18 Women come so close to bronze in Katowice
Great Britain Under-18 Women came up just short in a bronze-medal final-day showdown in the World Championship Division 1 Group B in Katowice.

After losing to Denmark in their opening game, GB produced a never-say-die performance against France in their second game as they held the number one seeds for two periods before eventually losing 2-0 to the French.

GB then beat Australia 5-1 but lost 4-1 to China, which set up a bronze-medal decider with hosts Poland.

A regulation-time win for GB would have secured the bronze, but Poland came out on top with a 2-0 victory.

Click below to watch GB’s convincing victory over Australia in their third game of the tournament…

GB U16s impress in Under-17 Spring Classic
Great Britain Under-16s took part in the EIHA Spring Classic tournament in Swindon in April.

They warmed up for the tournament with a 7-0 and 6-2 victory over Scotland U17s in Dumfries.

The youngsters took to the ice for the Spring Classic and went up against sides from the five Conference regions – Scotland, North, Midlands, South East and South West – plus Okanagan Academy’s U18.

They finished in fourth place with three wins, a tie and two defeats. Click here to read more.

Teenage sensation Kirk is drafted in the NHL 
To cap a memorable year for the teenager, Great Britain’s Liam Kirk was selected 189th in the seventh round of the NHL Draft by Arizona Coyotes.

The Rotherham-born forward won three medals with Great Britain last season, as he tasted gold medal success with GB Men and GB U18s and a bronze with GB U20s.

Click here to read the announcement from Arizona on their selection of Liam Kirk.