GOLD! Great Britain beat Hungary to gain promotion
Great Britain are gold medal winners tonight as they were sensationally promoted into the world's elite division.
They battled to a 2-2 tie in regular time in Hungary in the Division 1A decider, to get the single point they needed to guarantee their first return to the elite level since 1994.
Then they went one better and scored the winner in a relatively meaningless penalty shoot out to win the night's game 3-2.For large spells GB had been under the cosh against the home side, Hungary.But they battled back from 0-2 down to assert themselves firmly among the global elite, in a game in which bothgoaltenders excelled.GB, were playing a comparatively-rested host team, but when goalie Ben Bowns gave away a tripping minor, Christopher Bodo back-handed Hungary ahead for 0-1 at 3:31,Steeler Robert Dowd had a couple of half chances as GB kept pace with the Hungarians, who were backed by a passionate Budapest crowd.GB had Bowns to thank when a pass from behind the net set up Balint Magosi followed by a close-in shot from Balazs Sebok.GB needed to emerge from their enforced defensive shell and Steeler Ben O'Connor, nailed Daniel Koger on the end boards to send a signal to his team mates.Bowns again was in demand in the second session, deflecting a Daniel Koger slapshot just wide.Dowd threatened in a high-speed attack on the slot five minutes into the second period, but ECHL goalie Adam Vay looked like a man in form. The Sheffield winger had another shot on Vay on 28 minutes, but the netminder had all the answers again.Bowns had to deny Bodo again as GB then had to go on the penalty kill, with Matthew Myers in the box for hooking. And the South Yorkshireman stopped the puck as the Hungarians sought their second.GB weren't creating clear chances though and they had to take a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty at 32:31.Ben Davies though set up a great chance with a swift right cross, but his linemates could not connect.Cardiff Devils' Bowns started the third period as he had the first two, saving well, this time from Csanad Erdely.But Bowns was beaten when Erdely bundled the puck off his right shoulder past him from close range at 41:53, a goal that passed video review.Britain now had to take the game into Hungary's crease.But that was easier said than done, with 8,000 Hungarian fans getting behind their team.Dowd finally got them back in it with a quick-release shot with nine minutes left.Bence Stipsicz took a holding penalty against Jonathan Phillips - this was the moment GB seemingly had to strike - but they failed with O'Connor's shot from the left flank zipped straight into Vay's glove.GB were finally dominating in the way we'd like to have seen for the first two periods.Arnold Arga took a highly debatable interference call on man of the match Dowd but then a penalty shot was given to Hungary on the PP, Bowns saving.The decisive moment of the week-long tournament fell to Robert Farmer with 15 seconds left, a shot squeaking under Vay, taking GB and Italy into Pool A.And that is an astonishing achievement - as anybody who witnessed the scenes of celebration will endorse.