Great Britain Women U18 denied bronze medal by Poland

Great Britain Women U18 narrowly missed out on a bronze medal as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against Poland in the World Championship (Division 1B) tournament in Katowice on Friday.

A regulation-time victory would’ve secured GB the bronze, but Poland claimed third place on home ice with goals in the first and third periods.

GB netminder Ella Howard was the busier of the two goalies and made a staggering 40 saves from 42 shots.

The hosts took the lead after only 43 seconds through Wiktoria Gogoc and continued to create good scoring chances in the first period, with Howard having to be at her best to deny Klaudia Kaleja.

GB hit penalty trouble in the second period but were exceptional on the penalty-kill, as they took four successive two-minute minors and had to kill off over a minute of five-on-three.

Howard turned away 18 shots that Poland peppered on the GB net in period two, including another terrific save from the exceptional Kaleja, while at the other end Verity Lewis was denied by Poland goalie Martyna Sass.

Poland made the game safe when Wiktoria Sikorska netted from close range in the 51st minute following a feed from behind the net by Alicja Siejka.

GB continued to battle to the end and Emily Harris was denied on a short-handed breakaway.

Abbie Sylvester was named as GB’s player of the game, while Jemma Wallis was awarded Great Britain’s player of the tournament.

Earlier in the day, Denmark won gold and promotion with victory over France who took the silver medal.

Australia, who were beaten in overtime by China, were relegated.

Head coach Cheryl Smith said: “The girls gave it everything they had and you could tell how much they wanted the bronze medal.

“We probably took too many penalties, but five-on-five we had some terrific chances and really gave Poland a test.

“Overall, of course we are disappointed but this is a young side and their time will come.

“The good thing is a lot of this squad can be with us for a few more years at this age group and we have plenty to build on.”