Shooed the spectre of Eindhoven

Shooed the spectre of Eindhoven

Davide Tuniz26 Apr 2017Davide Tuniz»

With a perfect first period Great Britain win Lithuania and kick out the memory of a shameful failure


Great Britain and Lithuania comes to tonight clash both with perfect record but after leaving different impressions: a team on fire the Lithuania, with a mix of veterans and fresh legs and a sheet still clear, less enthusiast the Britons, probably feeling the pressure of favouritism and of the fans.

Although last year in Croatia Great Britain easily won 8-0, all the fans still carry the awful memory of the disaster in Eindhoven two seasons ago, when Great Britain lost an non influential game against same Lithuania, wasting a promotion given for sure in favour of incredulous Korea, home team knows the capital importance of this game for the continuation of the duel against Japan

With a large Lithuanian crowd on the stands, the game suddenly kindles: at 01:41 a shot from the distance by Ben O’Connor is rebounded by Pavlyukov right on the stick of local fan-favourite Colin Shields who easily nets. Lithuania shows immediately not suffering the pressure and quickly ties the game: speedy attack by Darius Pliskauskas, centers the puck that Arnoldas Bosas ravenously gets in the net. The rhythm is very high with home team occupying the defensive zone of opponents, threating Pavliukov with shot from the distance, a move suffered by Baltics, as showed also in the second goal, scored with the same plot: long-range shot by Swindlehurst and decisive deflection by Jonathan Phillips in front of the cage. While Lithuania tries to organize the reaction, a serious mistake by Ugnius Cizas, losing the puck while his team getting out from defensive zone, allows Evan Mosey to easily notch his third goal in the tournament. With Lithuanian fans silenced in the stand, their team seems shocked and unable to react and once again is punished from the distance: puck passing from O’Connor to Robert Farmer and precise shot under the bar with no chance for Pavliukov: 4-1 Great Britain after 16 minutes and signs of life from Lithuania just before the end of period, with a dangerous shot passing inches from the Bowns post.

The central period begins with the chance to seal the coffin but Brendan Brooks misses the KO punch in front of Pavliukov and right after Bowns risks when Pliskauskas don’t convert for inches a nice personal attempt. Lithuania takes the lead in this part of period even if with less real opportunities to threaten Bowns, leaving out a post hit by Emilijus Krakauskas. At minute 39 Cizas misses a great chances shooting on Bowns and right after missing the last touch in the crease

The good momentum of Baltics continues in the last period, marked by the sudden goal of Cizas, very smartly assisted by Arnoldas Bosas who prefers a pass for the better positioned teammate instead of shooting from a complicate position. Surprised by the goal Great Britain promptly react and Stewart has a good chance, deflected with difficult by Pavliukov, before the decisive goal by Ben O’Connor, free to advance in the opponent defence without many opposition beating the goalie with a shot deflected by the stick of a defender. With less of 10 minutes to go, Lithuania almost loss the capacity of reacting allowing Great Britain to control the game for the joy of fans in the stands, cheering for the opponent on Friday, when the Baltics will play another decisive game against unbeaten Japan, while the home team has an easy task, on paper, against pointless Netherlands

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