Heartache for Great Britain’s Women as 2022 Winter Olympics dream is over

HEAD coach Mike Clancy hailed the efforts of his Great Britain Women’s team, despite seeing their hopes of reaching the 2022 Winter Olympics ended.

GB's players received strong support from the home crowd in Nottingham throughout the pre-qualification tournament. Picture: Dean Woolley.

Despite beating Korea 1-0, there was only heartache for the host nation in the pre-qualification tournament at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre as they missed out on progressing to the final qualifying round for next year’s event in Beijing.

Louise Adams’s second period power play strike proved the difference, but Clancy’s team finished second in the four-team group on goal difference, with Korea advancing to the next stage.

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The hosts will be left to rue what might have been and regret not making their domination count against Slovenia on Friday night, when they were edged out 2-1.

HOPE: The GB bench celebrate Louise Adams's second period strike at the National Ice Centre. Picture: Dean Woolley.

Ranked seven places above GB in the world rankings, Korea were on the back foot for much of the night while, at the other end, netminder Nicole Jackson was again impressive in posting a 25-shot shutout.

GB had a strong opening period, outshooting Korea 10-4, with Jodie Bloom firing wide and Saffron Allen seeing her close-range effort denied.

The hosts piled on the pressure in the second session with Allen, Katie Henry, Katie Marsden, Lucy Beal and Ellie Wakeling all going close to breaking the deadlock.

After Adams finally put the hosts ahead at 39.00 GB fashioned several good quality chances in the third, but were unable to find their way past Inhye Jang, leaving them to look ahead to their next gathering for the World Championship campaign in Division IIA in March.

“We emptied the tank completely,” said GB head coach Clancy. “We came up against a well drilled side that knew what they needed to do and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the girls tonight.

“We’ve only had a short period of time together to get our systems embedded and to create the kind of atmosphere that we want. I think we’ve got to really step it up again for the World Championships. We’re looking forward to the challenge and I know the girls will go and do us proud.”