Great Britain return to elite level after victory over Hungary

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GB return to elite level with win over Hungary - highlights

Great Britain men secured promotion back to ice hockey's elite level for the first time since 1994 with an overtime win over Hungary in Budapest.

Robert Farmer equalised with 15 seconds of regulation time remaining to give GB the point they needed from the World Championship Division 1A game.

Hosts Hungary had led 2-0 in the third period before Robert Dowd's goal set up a frantic finish.

"What we have achieved is out of this world," said captain Jonathan Phillips.

"We believed we could do it and that was so key.

"We had belief in ourselves from the moment we arrived and the confidence just built throughout the week."

GB are the first team to win back-to-back gold medals in Division 1.

After a 2-2 draw in regulation time, they won 3-2 after a shootout as overtime ended with the score still level.

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Winning promotion is the best feeling ever says GB goalkeeper Ben Bowns

The two points for an overtime win meant GB - who had been in the third tier and ranked 29th in recent years - topped their group with 11 points.

Peter Russell's team will now play in the 2019 World Championships alongside some of the world's best teams such as Canada, Russia, USA and Sweden.

"This team is very special and what we have pulled off is absolutely unbelievable," said Russell. "We did not give up and showed true British spirit to pull that one out of the bag."

Great Britain ice hockey team celebrate beating Hungary
Great Britain ended the tournament with four wins (one in overtime) and one defeat

Netminder Ben Bowns, who made a series of vital saves - including a penalty-shot stop when the score was 2-1, told BBC Sport: "There's going to be a lot of shots next year! It's going to be fun, I can't wait.

"We generated momentum, got a scrappy goal that was exactly what we needed and the guys kept going and we got the equaliser."

Captain Phillips added: "We set our goal and we didn't give up and showed the character to come back from a terrible first period when I think the nerves set in."

PWOT WOT LLFAPts
Great Britain53101161511
Italy5300215119
Kazakhstan5300218109
Hungary520129147
Slovenia5200315156
Poland5100411193

Analysis

Seth Bennett, BBC ice hockey commentator

With 10 minutes to go, Great Britain looked dead on their feet, but somehow, from somewhere, they found the energy to fight back.

Dowd changed the mood of the building and then, after Bowns had saved a penalty shot, GB had one last chance.

Farmer made something from nothing and that was enough to seal gold and fairytale end to the tournament.

There is no underestimating the importance of this day for British ice hockey - so often looked at as being the poor relation of the rest of Europe.

This week has shown that, despite no external funding, they are ready to play with the sport's elite. Russell has guided this group of players and they have given him every last drop of energy.

As to how they will cope with playing against the world's best teams, only time will tell, but after a generation of players missed out on the chance to play at the top level, this group of have earned their place in the history books.

Five games in seven days and Great Britain delivered a tournament that will go down as one of the most incredible in their World Championship history.

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