Set back for home ice hockey nation: Great Britain 2-5 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
Great Britain were torpedoed under the water-line in their fifth preparation game ahead of the World Championships.
Russian league side Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod sunk the home team 5-2 at Sheffield Arena in a challenge match, mainly as a result of mastering a 3-0 middle period. Pete Russell's men, who won 5-4 against the same opposition the previous night in Nottingham, will have to display more smarts when they take on the likes of Canada and USA next month.
His side had been filled with positivity at the start; it took them just 17 seconds to go ahead, Cardiff Devils' Mark Richardson scoring with a speculative shot from the right point. Steeler Jackson Whistle made two good saves in the next 30 seconds but the clearer chances at that point were up the other end, with Liam Kirk back-handing wide and Ben O'Connor hitting the bar.
But GB surrendered the initiative, team defence went into slow-motion and Whistle was helpless to stop Anton Shenfeld neatly planting the puck through his legs, for 1-1, at 16;03.
Torpedo were shorn of their imports and had a small, young team out, but dominated the second session. Jonathan Phillips' line was the first to concede, from Pavel Makarenko. Directly after killing a penalty, Torpedo scored a third, Daniil Ilyin's shot bouncing off Whistle and over him at 32.13.
And Torpedo made it 4-1 when Shenfeld, on his knees, slotted in his second.
Whistle must have been envious of opposite goalie Molokov, half his size but half as busy.
Torpedo, who finished the same seventh spot as Steelers did in their regular season, gave particular attention to Robert Farmer, who had scored a hat-trick against them on Saturday. On deteriorating ice, they kept GB at bay when shorthanded and waited patiently to strike again; Kirill Urakov left alone at the top of the crease at 48.19 to snatch their fifth of the evening. A power play goal from Ben O'Connor at least got the fans off their seats.
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*The weekend exhibition games were the penultimate friendlies in GB's preparations in the UK for next month’s World Championship in Slovakia.
GB will face Germany, Canada, Denmark, USA, Finland, Slovakia and France from May 11-20 in Kosice as they compete in their first top-flight World Championship for 25 years.