A two goal deficit early in the game wouldn’t stop the British, who defeated Lithuania 5-4 in yet another close Division IIA World Junior match-up.
The game started out much in the favour of Lithuania. Ernestinas Truksnys got his first ever goal for Lithuania 5:48 in after receiving a pass inside the zone from Denis Kuzminov, making it 1-0. Five minutes later, 17-year-old Arturas Laukaitis, who had eight goals to lead the 2014 U18 Division IIA World Juniors in scoring, doubled up Lithuania’s lead to give his team some breathing room heading into the second period.
The second period, however, wouldn’t be too kind for the country. Four minutes into the period, Cameron Wynn scored a shorthanded marker for GB with not one, but two men in the box. It would be the only goal of the middle frame, but it set the tone for the comeback in the third.
The first half of the final 20 minutes of the contest saw lots of back and forth action, but it wasn’t until the second half that really saw the game come to life. At 50:13, Ivan Antonov got his second of the tournament on an unassisted breakaway, tying the game at two apiece. Just seconds later, Sam Duggan gave the Brits their first lead of the game, scaring Lithuania into fighting back late. That’s exactly what the men in red and white would have to do. Two minutes after both GB goals, Deivid Cetvertak tied the game back up again, only to see Manchester Phoenix forward Bobby Chamberlain take back the lead for the British a minute after that.
The last minute was almost utter chaos. With the Lithuania net empty, the team hoped to force the game to overtime. That was almost finally spoiled by a late empty netter by the Brits with under a minute to go. However, Lithuania did get a goal with just 20 seconds remaining from Paulis Gintautas. Lithuania hoped to pull their goalie once again at the end but were unable to get momentum back in the contest, eventually dropping the 5-4 decision to GB.
Both teams have the day off on Tuesday, with action returning on Wednesday morning. On Wednesday, Great Britain will take on the 0-2 team from Romania, while Lithuania will battle against the other undefeated team, South Korea.
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