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Ice hockey: Raiders youngster Howard helps GB U18s to stunning win

PUBLISHED: 16:42 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 11 January 2019

Ella Howard denies a Norway rival to help Great Britain under-18s to victory (pic Karl Denham)

Ella Howard denies a Norway rival to help Great Britain under-18s to victory (pic Karl Denham)

Archant

Junior Raiders goalie Ella Howard helped Great Britain’s under-18 to one of the best-ever results in their history at the World Championships on Wednesday.

Howard, 15, earned a 48-save shut out in a penalty-shot success over top seeds Norway in the Division One Group B match in Dumfries to take the player of the match award, with clubmate Ellie Wakeling also in the line-up.

And the young Brits, who are now fourth in the six-team group, will now take on China on Friday, before concluding their campaign against the Netherlands on Saturday. Both teams are below them in the standings.

GB went close in the first period through Chloe Headland and Lucy Beal, as Howard made 14 saves at the other end.

And Howard kept out another 14 attempts in the middle session as the scoreline remained blank, while Headland and Jessica Sprules had the best chances for the hosts.

The third period saw Howard make more top-class saves, while Wakeling and Verity Lewis went closest to breaking the deadlock for GB

And when overtime could not produce a winner, it went to a shoot-out, which was 2-2 after four shots each.

Chloe Riley converted GB ‘s fifth attempt and Howard denied Thea Jorgensen to launch wild celebrations on the ice.

Head coach Cheryl Smith said: “Words cannot describe how proud I am of the team. There were outstanding performances right across the ice and everyone should be so proud of what they achieved.

“I’ve been saying for a while we have so much talent in this programme and that shone through. We killed their game plan and they followed the instructions from the coaches, which was fantastic.

“I’m so thrilled with the win but just as important was how they all stuck to the brief.”

GB had lost their opening match to Poland, 2-1 in overtime, after Howard faced 28 shots and were beaten 3-0 by France despite 42 saves from the Raiders youngster.

That left Howard with a stunning 95.87 save percentage after the three matches, with an average of 1.61 goals against.

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