Great Britain were beaten 6-0 by Sweden – who are ranked fifth in the world – in their third game at the 2022 IIHF World Championship in Finland.
A five-goal first-period proved the difference, but GB can hold their heads up high for their performance in the second and third period and were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.
It was a special night for Robert Dowd who won his 75th cap, becoming only the 11th player in GB history to reach the milestone.
Sweden in command after first period
Sweden took the lead after 13 seconds as the puck came to Rasmus Asplund at close range and he slid the puck under Ben Bowns.
Dowd had a chance for GB from the left circle before Joakim Nordstrom fired in the rebound for Sweden’s second after Bowns had saved Adam Arsson’s shot from point (7:43).
Mathias Brome fed Anton Bengtsson (10:24), Rasmus Dahlin’s shot from the slot took a deflection to deceive Bowns (13:09) and Asplund’s doorstep rebound on the powerplay (19:55) saw Sweden lead by five at the first intermission.
Chances for both sides in scoreless second session
Jackson Whistle replaced Bowns in the GB net for the start of the second period and had to be at his best to keep out efforts from Arsson and Erik Gustafsson.
Dowd created room in the left circle but his shot was saved by Magnus Hellberg, while Matthew Myers saw his close-range backhand shot hit the bar on the powerplay.
Bengtsson scores a second for Sweden
Cade Neilson set-up Jonathan Phillips and then went close himself as GB continued to push for an opener.
At the other end, Whistle saved well from Bengtsson but could nothing to stop the same man firing top shelf from the slot for his second of the night (53:09).
Keefe: We need to be dialled in from the start
GB Assistant Coach, Adam Keefe, said: “We weren’t focused from the start and that was our downfall. We weren’t dialled in.”But we gave a better account of ourselves in the second and third period and got stronger as the game went on.
“We have to be dialled in from the start to have any success at this tournament. Jackson (Whistle) came in and did well and the boys stepped it up in-front of him.
“We now need to regroup and turn our attentions to the USA, which will be another tough game.”
There’s no game for GB tomorrow but they return to action on Thursday against the USA at 16:20 (14:20 UK time).
Great Britain World Championship schedule and results
Saturday 14th May 2022 – Czech Republic 5-1 Great Britain – Goal: Ben Lake
Sunday 15th May 2022 – Norway 4-3 Great Britain (after penalty shots) – Goals: Robert Dowd, Brett Perlini, Mark Richardson
Tuesday 17th May 2022 – Sweden 6-0 Great Britain
Thursday 19th May 2022 – Great Britain v USA 16:20 (14:20 UK time)
Friday 20th May 2022 – Great Britain v Finland 16:20 (14:20 UK time)
Sunday 22nd May 2022 – Great Britain v Latvia 16:20 (14:20 UK time)
Monday 23rd May 2022 – Austria v Great Britain 20:20 (18:20 UK time)
Photo credit: Dean Woolley.