Great Britain getting closer to ice hockey’s strongest nations says Sheffield Steeler Evan Mosey

The United States of America is an awesome power on the global ice hockey stage.

Friday, 20th May 2022, 10:52 am

Ranked fourth in the world, they will be looking to win the World Championships currently underway in Finland.

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The NHL-packed side furthered that aim with a 3-0 win over Great Britain, this week - but it was a result that showed that while there is a gap between the nations it is nowhere as big as it used to be.

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That is despite US players like Kieffer Bellows, who was the USA's Player of the Game against GB - he is a brilliant 23-year-old forward who has been on the New York Islanders' book for three seasons. And shut out goalie Jeremy Swayman, of Boston Bruins, who was named the NHL Rookie of the Month in February.

GB matched the Americans for large parts of the game in the Group B encounter in the Nokia Arena in Tampere.

The match was at the half way point before USA scored.

It was an afternoon of mixed emotions for Sheffield Steelers' ace Evan Mosey, who was born in America but qualified for the Lions' team because his father was born just outside of Leeds.

Evan Mosey against his native USA team. Pic Dean Woolley.

He was down about losing, but pleased by the spirit shown by the Brits and, overall, with the obvious improvements the GB set-up has made since they qualified for the top pool of the Championships back in 2019.

After the US game, Mosey said: "Our first period wasn't too bad, we both had chances but we were unable to capitalise on power plays. Their goalie made some good saves.

"They have got, I would say, 19 NHL players on their team so eventually they were able to kind of wear us down and the skill came through and they scored two power play goals.

"I wouldn't say it was inevitable, (losing) we put on a good performance, and competed throughout the game."

Evan Mosey v USA.

The GB forward added: "It is tough to play this many games in such a small amount of time against this quality of players.

"But it is a great experience playing against guys who are established NHL players, the goalie has just got out of game seven of the play offs for Boston and then starts against us.

"It is tough obviously. You can't really dwell too much on that (the US pedigree) you just have to play the game and then try to compete with them as long as you can" said Mosey, who also played against America in May, 2019 (a 6-3 defeat.)

Mosey was born in DuPage County, Illinois, 33 years ago, but was proudly singing God Save the Queen, before the game.

Former Steeler Ben O'Connor playing for GB.

"It is cool to play against the country you were born in" he said.

"You want to fight a little extra hard and try to score against them.

"My old college coach is the assistant coach on USA so it is a rivalry - a pretty one-sided rivalry!

"You just want to do the best you can, obviously."

The development of the British top flight ice hockey system fills Mosey with enthusiasm.

"If you look at when came in to the 2019 championships the scores of the games were 8-0 or 9-0 and we were facing 40-60 shots a game.

"But to be in the top group for three years and see the growth of the programme is tremendous, we can compete with teams."

"You can see that growth and what direction we are going in.

"We belong here, with the steps we have taken, with coaching and stuff like that, we are a different team from what it was in 2019."

GB are next in action this afternoon (14:20 UK time) against host team Finland.