Sheffield Steelers stars help put Great Britain back in ice hockey World Championship

Great Britain made it back into ice hockey’s elite league for the first time since 1994 after seeing off Hungary in a dramatic overtime victory on Saturday night.

Team GB sealed promotion to the top level of the World Championship after beating the hosts 3-2 on their home turf in Budapest.

The Brits only needed a draw to finish top of Division 1, but an inspired performance saw Team GB go the extra mile, and dispatch the Hungarians in style.

Hungary took an early lead and had the visitors trailing at 2-0 down until the third period, but fans witnessed a historic comeback when Steelers’ forward Robert Dowd scored a spectacular long-range goal with just nine minutes to go, taking the score to 2-1.

Cardiff Devils’ goalkeeper Ben Bowns then made the save of his life a few minutes later, keeping out a Hungarian penalty shot in the final minutes.

Team GB then counter-attacked feverishly in the final play of the match, and with only 15 seconds to go, Nottingham Panthers’ forward Robert Farmer scored a crucial equaliser, putting the score at 2-2.

The Brits celebrated ecstatically, knowing they had gained the one point needed to clinch promotion, but the celebrations didn’t end there.

After the regulation and overtime time scorelines ended at 2-2, Sheffield Steelers’ Ben O’Connor went on to score the winning penalty in the shootout, putting the final score at 3-2.

Great Britain are now the first side to win consecutive gold medals in Division 1, and will now go on to play in the 2019 World Championships.

There they will face some of the world’s greatest ice hockey nations, such as Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the United States.

With five players picked for the final squad, the Sheffield Steelers’ contribution to Team GB’s success cannot be underestimated.

As well as goalscorers Robert Dowd and Ben O’Connor, defenders Jonathan Phillips (captain of the Steelers’) and forward David Phillips also helped take home the gold for Team GB.

The Steelers were second only to the Nottingham Panthers in the number of players they contributed to the campaign.