Day two of the Championships are over and the teams are back in their respective countries, and we have a new champion, but let’s look at what happened.
The day started in exactly the same way that the 2015 Championships did for Team GB, a Semi-Final with the well organised German Team, who looked very organised on the Saturday.
The team went into the game in high spirits and really took the game to the Germans, finishing the 1st period 5-1 down. You could see from the stands that the Germans were not liking the tactics that the British Team were using. After five minutes you could see a change in the game plan from Head Coach, Tom Dickinson and the team were using a physical tactic, which considering the difference in size and the height advantage the Germans had, they went into the half time break with the German Coach berating his players.
From the 2nd period the officials on the rink were calling British team to the box in droves, with the 1st 8 minutes with the team only having 2/3 players on at all times, this was enough for the Germans to inflict their damage on the British team and the game finished 18-4.
This score did not really reflect the brave play the British team went out with, the display was very mature and only the Swiss in the final managed to put 5 past the Germans, up to this point Team GB were leading the way against the German defence. The Goal Keeper from Team GB Kieran Hickman also took 66 shots in the whole game, and after the fans from the German team, including one of the Germans goalies parent came over to congratulate the goal keeping team.
With this semi-final defeat it was a bronze medal playoff with Croatia and Austria. 1st the GB team needed to get past the Croatians, and they did just that clocking up a 7-0 win with a shutout from Lucy Gruber.
This meant that there was a straight playoff for Bronze with Austria, all GB needed to do was draw to secure the bronze medal. Both the GB and Austrian fans sat together in the stands and it was set for a great game. The 1st period finished 2-1 in favour of the British team and had their fate in their hands, and the Austrians knew this and came out hard in the 2nd period hard and scored 4 goals to take the to 5-3 with the British only scoring one in the 2nd period.
We were then left with the final game to finish., Switzerland v Germany. The Germans conceded early finishing the period 2-1 down but never looked out of control and if truth be told won the game with a professional 2nd period performance scoring 5 goals whilst not allowing the Swiss to score in that period. The Swiss turned the tables and won the 2nd period with 3 goals to Germans 2, but the damage was done and the trophy for the continent’s most prestigious trophy at U19 was going back to Germany.
GB were not done yet as the awards ceremony was getting underway and were given two dream team awards for Brandon Ayliffe and Lucy Gruber, making it 3 and 2 in a row prospectively.
This U19 Team GB squad looks like it has a very good future as they have a very young squad and a great new young Head Coach in Tom Dickinson, who lead his team very well all weekend, I am sure that next year’s championships they will be able to go one better and take that bronze medal.