GB U18s Head to Romania


Solway Sharks coach Martin Grubb headed off to Brasov in Romania with the GB U18s team recently, taking with him as part of the team Solway Juniors and Solway Sharks player Stuart Kerr.  The team were taking part in the IIHF Division 2A tournament, with games against hosts Romania and also Croatia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Poland. 

GB U18s opened their tournament with a 5-2 defeat by top seeds Lithuania, leading Great Britain U18 assistant coach Simon Leach to say,  “The team are disappointed after losing their opening game but have the character to bounce back for the rest of the week.  It’s always tough when you lose the first game of a tournament.  We said to the players afterwards that little errors can make big differences at this level of hockey. Sometimes we fell short and didn’t stick to our strengths and we paid the full price.”

The Under 18s team rebounded from their defeat by Lithuania with a resounding 7-1 win against Croatia, showing resolve and character, and dominating the game from start to finish.  They then went on to make it two wins from three games in Brasov as they defeated Netherlands 5-2.  Speaking after this game, coach Martin Grubb said, “We said Netherlands would be fighting for their lives and so it proved.  In the past, GB teams have found the Dutch a tough opponent and we knew it would be a battle.  We didn’t play our best today but credit to the players they showed character to dig in and get the three points where in previous years we may have lost that game.”

Unfortunately the game-winning run faltered, with the GB team going down to a 9-1 loss to Poland in their next game.   Grubb said, “It was very frustrating, obviously not what we wanted from the game.  Before we started we knew it would be difficult, Poland had already put 27 goals on in three games so we knew they were heavy on offence.”

Great Britain’s U18 side finished their tournament in fourth place after a final day defeat to the hosts Romania, going down 6-3 in Brasov.  Afterwards Martin Grubb said, “It was very disappointing to end the week without a medal.  We had two opportunities to win the games against Lithuania and Romania, but didn’t perform when it mattered.  At times we were also out battled and out fought by the other teams and that shouldn’t be happening to a Great Britain team.”

He added, “Stuart put in consistent defensive performances as expected and he will have gained so much from this experience of World Championship hockey. The level is high and completely different to club hockey but he adapted well and played his part on the team. We as a club are all proud of what he has achieved and he should be too”.


Latest Articles