Liam Kirk is at it again as Great Britain suffer narrow defeat to Switzerland

You know you are watching a special ice hockey player when you are disappointed he didn't score a hat-trick against one of the world's best teams.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 1:22 pm
GB's Liam Kirk celebrates against Switzerland pic by Dean Woolley

South Yorkshireman Liam Kirk scored two goals and assisted on another as Great Britain valiantly went down 3-6 to Switzerland in the last game of their 2021 World Championships in Latvia.

The Star has written acres of praise on the 21-year-old's emergence as a potential global superstar.

His seven goals and two assists in this tournament speak for themselves and will undeniably open the door to a lucrative contract in the NHL, AHL or SHL.

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Steeler Brendan Connolly scored his first goal in the tournament

At 21 years old, the winger - who first caught the eye playing for Sheffield Rapiers and Sheffield Greyhounds in 2012 - will get only better and better.

He was the entire tournament's top scorer and easily GB's biggest talent.

Frankly, it is frightening what this son of Maltby can go on to achieve over the next 15 years or so.

After Tuesday's game in Riga, Kirk said he hoped his development over the years would be an inspiration for others to come through the system at their local rink.

But he seemed more interested in talking about the team rather than himself - which speaks volumes about his character.

Kirk said that while GB had not been the most talented or quickest team in the Worlds, you'd struggle to find a roster with more heart and passion.

"We have proved we can play at this level" he said, adding that GB would try and build on the experience in Finland next year.

GB's loss to the Swiss, ranked eighth in the world, ended a memorable tournament for the Lions.

It was Kirk who equalised at 1-1, coasting in on the right wing and flashing a forehand shot home.

He levelled again at 2-2 with an easy finish - planting the puck past a goaltender screened by two of his own skaters.

That's seven Kirk goals in seven games.

Switzerland pulled away at this point.

But Kirk wasn't finished.

At 2-6 down, his rebound fell invitingly for Sheffield Steelers' team-mate Brendan Connolly to score, with six minutes remaining.

Another Steeler Robert Dowd was unfortunate not to add another as GB finished strongly.

GB are due to fly home on Wednesay - with their heads held high.

FULL TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Saturday 22nd May – Great Britain 1-7 Russia – Goal: Liam Kirk

Sunday 23rd May – Great Britain 1-2 Slovakia – Goal: Liam Kirk

Tuesday 25th May – Great Britain 2-3 Denmark (overtime) – Goals: Ben O’Connor, Mike Hammond

Wednesday 26th May – Belarus 3-4 Great Britain – Goals: Liam Kirk 2, Ben Davies, Mike Hammond

Friday 28th May – Sweden 4-1 Great Britain – Goal: Liam Kirk

Saturday 29th May – Czech Republic 6-1 Great Britain Goal: Matthew Myers

Tuesday 1st June – Switzerland 6-3 Great Britain – Goals: Liam Kirk 2, Brendan Connolly