BETTERIDGE: WE CANNOT REST ON OUR LAURELS
Date: Apr 26, 2018
Great Britain’s preparations for next week’s World Championships suffered a setback as Lithuania came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in an entertaining contest in Milton Keynes.
With the campaign in Budapest just a week away, this result would have given Pete Russell, the coach, some things to consider before they meet again at Coventry’s Skydome tomorrow.
It was a tight affair for much of the game, but Russell’s side had their chances to take the lead during a goalless first period.
Sheffield Steelers forward Robert Dowd went coast to coast in the opening stages, but saw his opportunity saved, with Lithuania’s Paulius Gintautas hitting the post shortly after.
Luke Ferrara of Coventry Blaze was denied on the doorstep as the Lithuanians remained resolute, with Colin Shields also seeing his chance saved.
GB had to keep it tight up the other end as well as Ben Bowns continued his recent excellent form with good saves from Arnoldas Bosas and Edgar Rybakov.
Eventually the home side edged themselves ahead when Great Britain sprung with a quick offence, with Dowd playing in Farmer in an odd-man-rush and the Nottingham Panthers forward tucking in at the back post.
The lead was doubled before the end of the second period as Mike Hammond, on his GB debut, finished off a chance that broke to him and the home side were two up after 40.
Lithuania got one back when Emilijus Krakauskas got a tip on a shot from point to halve the deficit and make life a little nervier for GB.
It was soon level when Povilas Verenis was set up by Tadas Kumeliauskas and the Lithuanians tied up the game.
Then they went ahead through Mark Kaleinikovas who got the go-ahead goal after Darius Zubrus was denied from close range, consigning GB to defeat.
PHOTO: Tony Sargent