Sheffield Steelers’ captain not fazed after GB’s 6-1 hiding

A 6-1 defeat a week before Great Britain starts a World Championship series isn't what coach Pete Russell will have had in mind.

By Bob Westerdale
Thursday, 02 May, 2019, 16:24
Jonathan Phillips, GB v Slovakia. Pic by Andrej Galica

But Sheffield Steelers and GB skipper Jonathan Phillips wasn't overly concerned after the loss to host nation Slovakia in their final warm-up game before taking on the likes of Canada and USA.

It was a disappointing margin – but lessons can be learned.

The winger pointed to the fact GB had kept it to a one goal game with five minutes remaining in the second period. After that it was all downhill against the world’s 10th seeds.

A Robert Farmer goal had been as the only effort to find the net, although Steeler Robert Dowd twice came close on the powerplay.

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Phillips said: “Slovakia came at us hard in the opening stages but we rode that out and grew into the game the longer it went on. We deserved our goal and at that stage, it was a one-goal game and we were right in it.

“Slovakia showed their class in the third period and took the game away from us, but we can take positives from that performance for sure. We certainly now know the standards we are going to have to achieve at this tournament and it was great preparation for us.

“We are looking forward to another week of solid practice ahead of our first game.”

GB will continue their training camp at their base in Michalovce, before moving on to Kosice on Thursday ahead of facing Germany on Saturday in their opening game at the World Championship.

It won't have escaped GB's notice that Germany are ranked higher than Slovakia, in eighth...so a win for the underdogs would be a tremendous achievement.