Ice hockey: Brits edged out on penalty-shots in Olympic pre-qualifier
GREAT Britain – including four Nottingham Panthers players – picked up a point in their opening game at the Olympic 2014 pre-qualifiers in Japan with a penalty-shot defeat to Korea.
Korea hit back from 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 down to win 5-4 after a dramatic shoot-out.
But with games to come against Romania on Saturday and a potential decider against hosts Japan on Sunday, the Brits still have a chance of reaching the final qualifiers in Germany in February.
GB made an excellent start and took the lead at 3:34 through Craig Peacock with David Longstaff making it 2-0 at 4:28 on the powerplay.
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Won Jung Kim pulled a goal back for Korea 57 seconds later, but Ben O'Connor's goal (17:28) ensured GB led 3-1 at the first interval.
Won Jung Kim netted his and Korea's second at 22:27, before Colin Shields (30:09) restored GB's two-goal advantage to make it 4-2, Panthers' Jonathan Weaver with an assist.
But Korea hit back and scored either side of the second interval. Won Jung Kim completed his hat-trick at 38:45 and Geunho Kim leveled the game up at 46:07.
There was no further scoring in the third period or overtime, so it went to penalty shots. Shields and Longstaff missed for Great Britain, with Sang Wook Kim and Min Ho Cho successful for Korea.
Head coach, Tony Hand, said: "We started brilliantly and got a great start with some great goals. Korea never gave up and are very dangerous team. I thought we took it to them in the third period and were unlucky not to score.
"They guys played their hearts out and everyone back home should be very proud of them.
"We had great chances to win it and we are still very much alive in this tournament."
In the other game, Japan defeated Romania 2-0.
Victory for GB against the Romanians tomorrow and a win for hosts Japan against Korea would mean a winners-takes-all clash between GB and Japan on Sunday.