Humbling defeat for Great Britain ice hockey team – annihilated 9-0 by Denmark
In the rarified atmosphere of the ice hockey world elite, Great Britain are struggling to catch their breath.
In Tuesday afternoon's meeting with Denmark they were suffocated by a relentless, super-quick attacking nation, going down 9-0.
Penalty trouble - a frequent curse - was partly responsible. But heads are down as this was a game GB needed to win to prop up their attempts to stay in the top flight - something they'd memorably achieved via promotion from Division I Group A in Hungary, last year.
They have scored one goal in three games in Slovakia.
GB, who fought hard before dipping 3-1 to Germany before being humbled 8-0 in a one-sided hammering by Canada in the opening two matches of the series, were given an early power play but ran up blind alleys and couldn't profit.
They were then educated how it should be done by the team ranked 12th in the world. With Jonathan Phillips, earning his 90th appearance for Britain, in the box for hooking and Ollie Betteridge joining him after lifting the puck over the glass, the Danes scored 5-on-3 through Jesper Jensen. Forty eight seconds later Mathius Bau lashed high over Ben Bowns.
The match was effectively over when Ben O'Connor gave the puck away behind his net and Morten Poulsen slotted home, near post.
GB hadn't been finding scoring positions - although Robert Dowd fashioned two efforts on Sebastian Dahm which got the juices flowing.
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The underdogs, whose coach Peter Russell is leaving his domestic team Glasgow Clan to take over Freiburg in Germany's second tier, looked a beaten team as they trooped off after period one at the Steel Arena, Slovakia.
Bowns was beaten by a long-range blast from Phillip Bruggisser which saw his contribution end and Jackson Whistle take over between the pipes.
The Steelers' stopper was immediately introduced to the lethal nature of the Danes’ shooting.
With the extra space of two power plays, Denmark twice blasted the puck inside Whistle's near post - Lars Eller and Nicklas Jensen both scoring in 91 seconds of each other.
And it was 7-0 when O'Connor went for a body check, only partially connected, and the Danes outnumbered GB, Jensen scoring again.
GB's disorientated defence were all at sea when an unmarked Poulsen made it eight after 35 humbling minutes.
Russell's luck was out - his team conceded a short-handed Poulsen goal and then Matt Myers had a goal washed out.
It was that sort of match.