Match Reports from the World Champions – Victory for Dowdy’s Boys Vs Austria.

With GB away at the World Championships, we will post match reports from all the games here on the Steelers website.

Less than 24 hours after the relegation confirmation following the defeat to Norway, GB bounced back with a 4-2 win over Austria.

Game 7: Austria 4-2 GB

Great Britain ended the 2024 World Championship on a high with a 4-2 victory over Austria at the O2 Arena in Prague.

Netminder Lucas Brine was awarded his debut cap as he served as back-up to starting goalie Ben Bowns.

Ben Davies won his 50th cap while Ben Lake was named Alternate Captain in the absence of Liam Kirk.

No goals in quiet first period 
Bowns made a good save with his pad to deny Austria forward Marco Rossi in the opening stages and then stopped Benjamin Nissner’s shot from the point.

At the other end, GB’s best chance saw Lake cut inside off the right-wing with a good piece of skill but his shot was saved by David Kickert.

O’Connor scores superb equaliser for GB
Austria went ahead on the powerplay through Clemens Unterweger’s blast from just inside the blueline (22:40)

Robert Dowd was denied by a wonder glove save by Kickert on a five-on-three powerplay, but moments later Lake won the face-off and Ben O’Connor fired the puck into the top corner to equalise (27:42).

GB carried the momentum for the rest of the period with Dowd, Davies, Evan Mosey and Ollie Betteridge all having good chances.

Perlini, Mosey and Dowd secure victory for GB 
GB went ahead on the powerplay as Dowd’s pass towards goal took a deflection off a skate and Brett Perlini scored at the backdoor (41:59).

Austria came back strong and Bowns made a good save to deny Dominic Zwerger, before Mosey scored GB’s second with a neat move on the netminder from close-range (50:23).

Dowd scored into an empty net with Kickert lifted for the extra outskater (55:31), before Austria scored a late powerplay goal through Mario Huber at the backdoor (59:15).

Game 6: Norway 5-2 GB

Great Britain have been relegated from the top level of the World Championship after a 5-2 defeat by the 12th seeds Norway in the O2 Arena in Prague.

Cole Shudra replaced Sam Jones in the line-up as GB went with 13 forwards and seven defencemen. Jackson Whistle started between the pipes with Ben Bowns as back-up.

GB lost Liam Kirk during the second period as the forward – who started the game despite suffering from a sickness bug – bravely returned in the third session, while Cam Critchlow also limped out with injury. 

Norway lead by three at first intermission
GB had a chance inside the first minute as Robert Dowd cut inside from the right but saw his shot saved, before Cade Neilson just failed to connect to the rebound.

Norway went ahead when Max Krogdahl’s shot was tipped past Whistle by Markus Vikingstad (4:34) and it was 2-0 when GB coughed-up possession and Patrick Thoresen buried the puck from the right-circle (6:46).

Whistle denied Eskild Bakke Olsen from close-range, but he put away his own rebound to score Norway’s third (12:25).

Perlini powerplay goal gives GB hope
Michael Brandsegg-Nygard made it 4-0 on the powerplay from the left-circle (21:18), before Dowd fed Brett Perlini on the doorstep – also on the man advantage – as GB reduced the deficit (24:56).

Sam Ruopp fired over the bar on a short spell of four-on-four and Mark Richardson shot wide late in the period as GB pushed for a way back into the game.

Norway see out the game to send GB down 
Dowd and Perlini went close in quick succession early in the third period, but Norway scored their fifth as they won a battle in-front of the net and Olsen Bakke scored from close-range (44:36).

Evan Mosey and Ben Lake combined and the puck came off the left boards to send Ollie Betteridge clear who produced a neat backhand finish on the breakaway (47:25).

GB pushed hard to set-up a dramatic finish with chances for Dowd and Perlini, but a sixth defeat mean GB return to Division I Group A next season.

We had a tough start but stuck with it. We had chances but couldn’t find a way to get it down.

Russell: Every player has done the country proud 
Head Coach, Pete Russell, said: ”This team has emptied the bag for the whole tournament. We lost Kirky (Liam Kirk) who had been ill all night and we lost Cam Critchlow.

“This is the hardest tournament we’ve been too. We’ve come up against top-class players and I think every player has done the country proud. We’ve been facing the best teams in the world.

“We’ve been at the top level for four of the past five years and that’s an achievement. We desperately wanted to stay up but it wasn’t to be. 

“Our players have given everything. That dressing room is so down now but it’s our job to get them back up again and come back for the final game against Austria.” 

Tomorrow, GB play their final game of the tournament against Austria at 12:20 (11:20 UK time).

Great Britain World Championship schedule and results 
Saturday 11th May – Great Britain 2-4 Canada – Goals: Liam Kirk, Ben O’Connor
Sunday 12th May – Finland 8-0 Great Britain
Wednesday 15th May – Switzerland 3-0 Great Britain
Friday 17th May – Great Britain 3-4 Denmark – Goals: Liam Kirk, Cade Neilson, Nathanael Halbert
Saturday 18th May – Czechia 4-1 Great Britain – Goal: Evan Mosey
Monday 20th May – Great Britain 2-5 Norway – Goals: Brett Perlini, Ollie Betteridge 
Tuesday 21st May – Austria v Great Britain – 12:20 (11:20 UK)

Game 5: Czechia 4-1 GB

Great Britain were beaten 4-1 by Czechia in their fifth game at the World Championship in the O2 Arena in Prague.

GB produced another spirited performance against the eighth-best team in the world with Evan Mosey scoring in the second period, but the hosts proved too strong as they secured fifth victory.

Sam Jones and Cam Critchlow returned to the line-up as they replaced Josh Tetlow and Cole Shudra. Ben Bowns started between the pipes with Lucas Brine as back-up.

Czechia lead by two at first intermission

Bowns denied Roman Cervenka on the breakaway but Lukas Sedlak popped home the rebound to put Czechia ahead (2:18).

Moments after Robert Dowd shot just wide for GB, Jakub Krejcik made it 2-0 when he buried the puck in the top corner from left-point (4:46).

Bowns made big saves to deny Libor Hajek and Martin Necas and at the other end, Mosey twice went close on the powerplay while Robert Dowd and Liam Kirk also saw their shots saved.

Mosey scores for GB but hosts increase lead in second period 

Czechia scored their third on a two-on-one break 36 seconds after the restart as Sedlak converted at the backdoor (20:36).

GB got on the board on the powerplay when Ben O’Connor and Kirk combined to set-up Mosey on the doorstep for his fifth international goal (22:17).

The hosts restored their three-goal advantage with superb puck movement which ended with a one-timer in the slot from Ondrej Kase (32:15).

GB create chances but Czechia secure victory 

Bowns made a superb save to stop Roman Cervenka short-handed, while Kirk went close for GB on the same powerplay.

Sean Norris, playing against the country where his mum was born, had a chance midway through the third period as GB continued to create chances.

Czechia saw out the victory as they returned to the top of Group A with 15 points from six matches.

Weber: Guys stuck to the gameplan 

Assistant Coach, Chuck Weber, said: “There were so many reasons to be proud again of that performance.

“They stuck to the gameplan and executed what we asked them for so much of the game.

“We’re scored on the powerplay which was huge for us with a well-worked goal and they deserved that.

“We know how important special teams will be in the final two games.

“This team never lets their heads drop and the coaching staff are proud of the way they continue to compete.” 

GB have no game tomorrow (Sunday) but complete the group stage with matches against Norway on Monday and Austria on Tuesday.

Game 4: Denmark 4-3 Team GB

Still searching for win number one

Gamedays three and four have been and gone at the 2024 IIHF World Championship for Great Britain, and with them have come some incredible team performances, but Pete Russell’s side are still in search of their first point as they prepare for gameday five against hosts Czechia this evening.

It was an improved performance from the team dressed in red, white and blue on Wednesday evening as they faced Switzerland, despite falling to a 3-0 defeat. Robert Dowd and Cole Shudra were part of the 22-player squad whilst Sam Jones was rested, taking a seat in the stands to watch the game.

Jackson Whistle stood tall in between the pipes for Great Britain, limiting Switzerland to only three goals, but the offence couldn’t capitalise upon chances at the other end of the ice as they failed to register a goal, leaving the Swiss to take the points.

Despite not taking a point from the game, there were positives to take from the performance and time to put things right before gameday four. Thursday was a rest day for Great Britain in Prague with only Sam Jones, and the others rested from the Swiss game, icing in the morning.

The evening consisted of rest and recovery, and entertaining hockey as Austria stunned Finland by scoring the game-winning goal with one second of the third period to go. The Austrians battled from two-goals down to create history, beating the Finns for the first time.

Some may say the pressure was on Great Britain as they woke up on gameday four ready to face Denmark after Austria’s performance the previous night, but it was a cool, calm and collected side that entered the O2 Arena.

The Danes had hit the ice four times in the tournament, recording only one win. They were victorious over Austria (5-1), but defeated by Canada (5-1), Norway (2-0) and hosts Czechia (7-4). This year they are protected from relegation as they are set to co-host the 2025 World Championship with Sweden next year.

Great Britain had failed to register a win yet, but with a fully fit 25-player roster to choose from, positivity was in the air. Captain Robert Dowd and Cole Shudra were named in the 22-player squad with Sam Jones rested.

A performance to be proud of from GB saw them narrowly beaten by the Danes at the World Championship. Former Sheffield Steelers forward Liam Kirk opened the scoring with a wraparound goal at 5:23, but Russell’s side couldn’t maintain the lead for long as Mikkel Aagaard brought the score level just over a minute later.

Denmark then took the lead on the powerplay at 8:25, but Great Britain were quick to react with Cade Neilson scoring the equaliser at 10:34.

The Danes were back ahead as the second period restarted, but a battling 20-minutes of hockey from Great Britain saw Nathaneal Halbert fire another equalising shot into the back of the net in front of a crowd of 16,277.

Chances created in the third period couldn’t be capitalised upon by GB as they looked to try and take the lead again, but Whistle came in clutch at the other end of the ice with huge saves to keep them in the game with time still to push on for a game-winning goal.

When Evan Mosey took a tripping penalty with less than 10-minutes of the game to go, the Danes took full advantage of the powerplay opportunity and made it 4-3.

Even with an emptied net in favour of an extra skater and a late powerplay chance, Great Britain couldn’t find another equalising goal with the game finished in regulation time.

The Brits outshot the 11th best team in the world by 31 goals to 28 and put on a performance described by Head Coach Pete Russell as “one of the best performances” under his tenure.

His side are back in action this evening with lots of positives to take from gameday four into their meeting with the hosts, Czechia.

The hosts are ranked fifth in the world and come into the game at the top of Group A with 12 points from five matches and so it will be another tough test for Great Britain at the O2 Arena.

Sam Jones is healthy and in contention to return to the line-up this evening alongside Manchester Storm captain Cam Critchlow who has missed the last two games.

Game 3: Switzerland 3-0 Team GB

Great Britain put in a battling performance in a 3-0 defeat by the world’s seventh seeds Switzerland at the World Championship in Prague.

Sean Norris replaced Cam Critchlow to make his first World Championship appearance, while Sam Ruopp came back into the line-up for Sam Jones. Jackson Whistle started between the pipes with Ben Bowns as back-up.

Whistle made a superb save to stop Kevin Fiala’s penalty-shot, but the Swiss went ahead when Nico Hischier buried a rebound (3:48).

Liam Kirk cut inside from the right but saw his shot saved, before Ben Lake tipped Mark Richardson’s shot inches wide.

Switzerland made it 2-0 through Dean Kukan’s shot from the top of the right-circle (13:36).

Whistle came up big to stop Romain Loeffel’s bullet of a shot from the slot, but the Swiss scored their third on the powerplay through Nino Niederreiter from the right-circle (38:36).

Brett Perlini sped into the offensive zone and shot just over as GB made a positive start to the third period.

Cade Neilson and Kirk also went close but GB were unable to beat Akira Schmid who secured a 15-shot shutout.

GB return to action on Friday against Denmark at 16:20 (15:20 UK time).

Game 2: Finland 8-0 Team GB

Great Britain were beaten 8-0 by Finland at the O2 Arena in their second game at the 2024 World Championship in Prague.

GB restricted the world’s number two side to a goal in the first period while also creating some good chances, but the damage was done in the second period as Finland scored five times to take control.

Josh Tetlow replaced Sam Ruopp in defence while Ben Bowns got the start in goal with Jackson Whistle as back-up

Finland lead at first intermission

Bowns made a good early save to deny Vili Saaarijarvi and also stopped a bullet of a shot from Jere Innala.

At the other end, Liam Kirk tipped a pass from Sam Jones wide and Robert Lachowicz’s shot from left-wing was saved by Emil Larmi.

Finland went ahead when Oliver Kapanen got the final touch to Oliwer Kaski’s shot through traffic (16:14).

Finland stretch their lead in second period

Jesse Puljujarvi tipped-in Kaski’s shot for Finland’s second (21:45) and it was 3-0 on the powerplay thanks to Jere Innala’s one-timer from the right-circle (24:52).

GB’s best chance saw Brett Perlini denied on the breakaway and his rebound shot was also stopped by Larmi.

Juuso Riikola’s shot through traffic was deflected past Bowns (32:49), Kapanen put away his own rebound (36:01) and Olli Maatta went short-side from the left-circle (38:45) as Finland led by six at the second intermission.

Kapanen completes hat-trick for Finland

Finland scored their seventh when Mikko Lehtonen fired across Bowns from close-range (46:39).

Bowns made a fantastic glove save to deny Innala a second of the afternoon, before Kapanen completed his hat-trick with a redirect from close-range (52:57).

Dowd: We were a little fatigued in our legs

Captain Robert Dowd said: “These first few games were never going to win or lose us the tournament.

“Yesterday’s performance was excellent and today you could see we were a little fatigued in our legs.

“In the second period they took advantage of that.

“They are an elite league, they’re the second best in the world and if you give them an inch they’re going to take it.”

GB have no action for the next two days and return to action on Wednesday against Switzerland.

On Saturday GB met the favourites, Canada in Game 1 of their tournament.

Cole Shudra made his GB, World Championship debut.

Game 1: Canada 4-2 Team GB

Great Britain produced a superb battling performance against the world’s number one side Canada in a narrow 4-2 defeat in their opening game at the World Championship in-front of a crowd of 16,935 people at the O2 Arena in Prague.

GB stunned the Canadians with Liam Kirk’s opener and the teams were level at 1-1 at the first intermission, before last year’s number one NHL Draft Pick Connor Bedard scored twice in the second period as Canada finally took control.

Ben O’Conor scored a stunning goal in the third period as GB made Canada work hard for the three points.

Jackson Whistle got the start in goal with Ben Bowns as back-up, while Cole Shudra made his first World Championship appearance.

GB level with Canada after first period

GB thought they’d taken an early lead when Kirk won the puck and circled out in-front before firing past Joel Hofer, but a penalty was called on the play.

It didn’t put Britain off their stride and Kirk stunned the Canadians as he sent a bullet from the slot on the powerplay (7:47).

Canada hit straight back to equalise with Michael Bunting’s shot through traffic from left-point (8:17).

The Canadians dominated much of the rest of the period with Whistle making a number of big saves while at the other end, Nathanael Halbert was denied by Hofer.

Bedard scores twice as Canada lead by three at second intermission

Brandon Hagel scored a stunning goal to put Canada ahead as he slammed the puck past Whistle on the half-volley (25:45).

GB ran Canada ragged on a powerplay with three chances for Kirk and two for Robert Dowd, but Canada scored their third when Bedard fired across Whistle (31:39).

Good build-up play and a superb feed from Nick Paul set-up Bedard for his second of the game (35:29), before GB went close when Cade Neilson fed Robert Dowd at the backdoor but his shot was saved.

O’Connor scores stunner for GB’s second 

Kirk set-up O’Connor who pulled a sweet move to beat his man and fire past Hofer for GB’s second (48:49).

Dowd had a late chance and GB lifted Whistle for the extra skater, but Canada held firm to secure the three points.

Russell: We showed a high compete level 

Head Coach, Pete Russell, said: “Canada are a great team and stacked with talent. 

“Without the puck, we were really good. I thought we showed a high compete level and we had a great structure.

“Our powerplay was good and our penalty-kill was 100 per cent. That will give the guys some great belief for the rest of the tournament.” 

GB are straight back into action tomorrow against the world’s number two seeds Finland at 12:20 (11:20 UK time).


Great Britain World Championship schedule

Saturday 11th May – Great Britain 2-4 Canada. Goals: Liam Kirk, Ben O’Connor

Sunday 12th May – Finland v Great Britain – 12:20 (11:20 UK)

Wednesday 15th May – Switzerland v Great Britain – 20:20 (19:20 UK)

Friday 17th May – Great Britain v Denmark – 16:20 (15:20 UK)

Saturday 18th May – Czechia v Great Britain – 20:20 (19:20 UK)

Monday 20th May – Great Britain v Norway – 16:20 (15:20 UK)

Tuesday 21st May – Austria v Great Britain – 12:20 (11:20 UK)