Steelers skipper Jonathan Phillips proud of Great Britain's performance despite team missing out on Olympics qualification

You won't hear Sheffield Steelers' skipper Jonathan Phillips offering any excuses for Great Britain's inability to qualify for the next round of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics' programme.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 4:07 pm
Ben O'Connor - on the losing side against Hungary

The national ice hockey side was beaten 4-1 by Hungary at Nottingham Arena on Sunday to bring an end to that aspiration.

Many fans were angry and frustrated by the officiating on the night - and pointed the finger at the referee for the way things turned out.

But Phillips, who also captains GB, was not seeking to find anyone else to blame for the loss.

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“It was actually a close game and on another day it could’ve gone our way," said the forward.

“You have to credit Hungary, I thought they played a great game and deserved the win.

"Their goalie played unbelievable and they took their chances so I guess it just wasn't to be.

“But we put everything into it and just came up a little short.

“Of course, we’re disappointed but we played three good games at the weekend and can be proud of our performances."

Hungary now move on to the next stage in Latvia, as GB finished second with two wins from their three matches.

The home nation, who had a shot from Sheffield defenceman Davey Phillips cleared off the line, could have benefited from the influence of goal-getting Steeler Robert Dowd, but he is out long-term injured with a shoulder issue.

Their only strike of the night came from Matthew Myers, in the first minute of the third period

Jonathan Phillips and Davey Phillips, of Sheffield Steelers, centre, disappointed to be out of the Olympics.

Head coach, Pete Russell, said: “We gave it everything we had and we dominated at times.

"I can't believe how much of the puck we had. They make it difficult for you, rebounds weren't bouncing our way but that's hockey sometimes.

“But credit to Hungary they played a great game and they were excellent defensively.

“We have a lot to be proud of and I have to make a special mention for our supporters.

“We had some fantastic support, the backing these past few days has been unbelievable.

“The fans deserved to see us go through but it wasn’t to be and we now turn our attentions to the World Championship.”

*Britain had been seeking a place in the Winter Olympics for the first time since 1948.