THREE Coventry Blaze players suffered heartbreak with Great Britain after losing out on a gold medal for the second year in a row at the World Championship (Division 1B) in Zagreb.
Ashley Tait, Russell Cowley and Ross Venus helped form part of the GB side that needed just a point from their final group game against Ukraine to win a gold medal and to secure promotion to Division 1A.
But with the game heading towards a 1-1 conclusion with Jonatahn Phillips scoring the GB goal, Olexander Pobyedonostsev scored four minutes from time to break British hearts as they missed out on gold, just as they did in Eindhoven one year ago.
“It is like last year all over again and I just can’t put it into words,” said GB coach Russell. “We gave it everything we had and I really am proud of everyone.
“We were fantastic all week but we just couldn’t get over the line. This is a horrible feeling.”
Blaze forward Cowley was in free-scoring form during the tournament with the 32-year-old finding the back of the net three times and he also picked up three assists.
“I have to give credit to Ash (Ashley Tait) and Ross (Venus),” said the Blaze forward. “I have played with them recently but have also played with Craig Peacock.
“Credit to them as they are making life easier. The chemistry we have had over the four games has worked out well.
“Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t – and I have been fortunate enough that they have been going in.”
It will be a tournament to remember for Blaze forward Ross Venus who admits scoring his first ever goal for Great Britain is the biggest moment in his short career.
The 21-year-old was playing in only his sixth international game when he scored Britan’s third in a convincing 8-0 victory over Lithuania.
“I feel amazing,” said Venus afterwards. “This is the first game where I have really had regular ice time. To get a goal really is amazing, it is such a great feeling.”