Ice Hockey World Championship: Great Britain beaten 3-1 by Germany on return to elite level

GB and Germany
Great Britain have not played in the top flight since 1994
2019 Men's Ice Hockey World Championship
Venue: Bratislava & Kosice, Slovakia Dates: 10-26 May
Coverage: Live radio commentary on Great Britain's matches on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Sport website and app

Great Britain were beaten 3-1 by Olympic silver medallists Germany on their return to the Ice Hockey World Championships in Slovakia.

GB, competing at the elite level for the first time in 25 years, impressed but were undone by two late goals.

Moritz Seider gave Germany the lead late in the second period before Mike Hammond levelled early in the third.

But Yasin Ehkiz put Germany 2-1 up with 10 minutes remaining before Leon Draisaitl added a third.

Pete Russell's GB side are the lowest-ranked team in the championship and face 26-time world champions Canada - who lost 3-1 to Finland - on Sunday in their second match.

Forward Hammond said it was a "special moment" to score his first Great Britain goal.

"I thought we put in a battling performance and really took it to them, so we can be positive about many things," he said.

"We are disappointed that we didn't win but that shows our expectations have risen for sure."

Analysis

BBC ice hockey commentator Seth Bennett

It was a predictable scoreline and result in many ways. GB did everything you expect, but didn't take the chances they had, which would have had a massive impact on the game.

While taking sometime to adjust the standard and the speed, the players gave themselves a chance. The first goal was always going to be vital, but GB showed a lot of pushback when they conceded and coach Pete Russell will be taking a lot of positives out of the performance.

The two outstanding players were goalie Ben Bowns and Evan Mosey. Bowns is the foundation that any success GB will have at this tournament will be built on. He was assured and calm and made great saves when required. Mosey's speed gave GB a real thrust when he moved forward.

Russell and his coaching staff may spend the evening lamenting missed chances, but they have little time to do that. Next up it is hockey super-power Canada, which will be an even bigger test of this group of players.

Sunday, 12 May

Great Britain v Canada (19:15 BST) - live on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

The most intimidating sight in hockey is a Canada shirt bearing down on net at a major international tournament. Despite the Stanley Cup play-offs still continuing in North America this Canadian team will be one to watch.

Canada have been world champions 26 times, so GB better be ready to hang on. Take any liberties and they will no doubt pay the price.

Championship format
There are two groups of eight with the top four from each qualifying for the quarter-finals
The bottom team in each group will be relegated to Division 1A in 2020
GB are in Group A and will play all seven pool matches in Kosice
The last time GB played in the elite league in 1994 they failed to earn a point