So, we come to the end of the first tournament that the Great Britain Team have attended for a while and whilst we couldn’t claim the illusive medal we have improved game on game and made a lot of good contacts out here in Japan.
We had an early start today with our Bronze medal game starting at 11am. Having already been two players down from the team that flew out to Japan, another was forced out of todays game through an injury picked up earlier this week. This left us cycling 3 D-men and 5 Forwards.
We played well in the opening period and despite being 2-0 down at the break still felt we were in the game. Our task became a lot harder after an injury to “Frenchie” in the middle period saw the d-man taken to hospital with a back injury. With the team now own to just 2 d-men, we had to play around with the lines and doubleshift players.
What was good to see was the way the team pulled together and also after a lot of hard work during the week we managed to break the Slovakian shutout with a goal from Matt Clarkson.
As the buzzer sounded it was a very subdued GB side who sat out on the ice. Every player has given the best throughout the week in practice and the games and the disappointment of not winning a medal was there for everyone to see.
Over the week we’ve had just over 6 hours of practice ice time, as well as 4 competitive games against string opposition. We came into the tournament as the lowest ranked team, but surprised a lot of the other teams. Both the Czech and Japanese coaching staff have commented on the improvements they’ve seen through the week and the fact we are a more structured and tactical team on the ice than in previous meetings.
This evening has seen the team relaxing in the hotel, unwinding from the week, whilst Shirley and Caroline have been busy working with the insurance company and local hospital to arrange for Frenchie to be moved to Tokyo or Sapporo to see a specialist for his injury. Until he’s seen the specialist he won’t be allowed to fly back to the UK.
On behalf of everyone involved with the Great Britain team over here in Japan, i’d like to thank you for all the messages of support on the various social media channels – they have kept the team motivated, knowing people are watching and supporting us back home.