Team GB Women's Under 16s in action against Norway U16s at Planet Ice Widnes (Photo by Keith Moon - www.framedandfocused.co.uk)
The Planet Ice rink in Widnes played host to three prestigious international matches over the weekend with the Great Britain U16 women’s team taking on their Norwegian counterparts in a 3-match series.
Following on from a similarly significant England Under 23 game against Denmark at the end of last season and numerous NIHL, Para and Women’s play off tournaments, it represents another glowing endorsement of the capabilities of the rink, its staff and local match volunteers in staging important events.
The 3 games all ended in defeats for the GB girls, with Norway winning 1-8 on Thursday afternoon, 0-4 on Friday afternoon and 0-4 again on Saturday evening. There was an obvious gulf in class and experience between the two teams, with the visitors outshooting the hosts by a considerable margin in each game and having the upper hand for long periods over the course of the series.
The solitary goal for GB was scored at 48.18 in the game on Thursday by Alisha Potts, who usually plays for the Leeds Knights Under 18s junior team and also played up a level for the GB Under 18 women’s team at the World Championships, assisted by Tahlia Davidson–Wright, another GB Under 18 international who plays for the Queen Bees in the Women’s Elite League.
The top goal scorer for Norway over the three game series was Tilde Simensen who scored 4 goals in the first game on Thursday. Norway captain Miriam Toet-Uddveg scored a hat-trick in the 0-4 win on Friday, Kausa Braten scored 3 goals overall, Oda Bruland Austefjord and Thea Lothe scored 2 each and single strikes for Timea Sturkova and Edle Rise Moe in the last game on Saturday completed the series goalscoring for the visitors.
Great Britain Head Coach Nicci Wardell said that her side continued to show improvements over the three-match series: “We continue to show big improvements and we were with them for good periods. The girls continued to impress us all, resulting in their efforts being rewarded with a tighter game. Their commitment to continually improving themselves as a team has been really pleasing to see. They have bought into everything we have asked of them in terms of structure and systems.”
Rebecca Clayton - who was tournament host, looking after the two teams for the series - said: “All the games were exciting to watch. GB didn’t give up until the very end and were in good spirits throughout”.