Austria outsmart GB in promotion Game

25th June 2008

Austria ended Great Britain’s chances of mid-tournament promotion after winning 6-1 in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Inline World Championship qualification round. GB faced the Austrians having topped their four team preliminary round group and Austria having finished bottom of their elite division group. It was a repeat of the 2007 qualification round where GB had lost in overtime in Passau, Germany. This year the game was very different as the Austrians played a slow patient game, eliminating the fast skating threat of the British.

But the game was not as one sided as the scoreline suggests. GB opened the scoring in the first period through John Dolan, however a disastrous second period followed where four goals were conceded (two through powerplays) as James Tanner saw intense pressure in the British net.

In the third period GB replaced Tanner with Ben Schofield however he was powerless to stop two further Austrian goals. A zero-zero final period saw the Austrians through.

GB now face New Zealand tomorrow at 18:00 GMT in a Division One quarterfinal.

GB were not the only Division One nation to suffer. Canada were heavily beaten by Germany and will be GB’s main opposition for the Division One gold medal and automatic promotion to the elite group.

“We didn’t play to our strengths today but there were some positives,” said GB Head Coach Nick Crawley. “Stuart Brian came back from injury and played a good game and I don’t believe the scoreline accurately reflects the game today. That said, Austria played well but you expect that from an elite nation.”

Final Score (Period Scores)

GB 1-6 Austria (1-0, 0-4, 0-2, 0-0)