IIHF World Championships: Great Britain 0 Sweden 6 - Sheffield Steelers Jonathan Phillips frustrated after heavy loss
While there was little doubt as to the outcome of the clash against one of the tournament favourites, there was never going to be any way back for Pete Russell’s team once they slipped 5-0 behind inside the first period.
Rotherham-born Ben Bowns was pulled from the GB goal after 20 minutes, replaced by former Sheffield Steelers’ netminder Jackson Whistle, who managed to restrict the world No 5 team to just one more goal.
But GB and Steelers’ captain Phillips cut a frustrated figure afterwards, saying such a poor start was avoidable.
“To be honest, I think as players we let ourselves down and it certainly wasn’t the team ethos that we’ve been built on,” said Phillips.
“Obviously against Sweden, you’ve got to give them respect but we didn’t give ourselves enough respect in that first period, we were kind of sitting back too much and that’s not our style.
“We weren’t creating that kind of energy that we like to create and in the second and third we began to find our groove and finding our identity again.”
The writing was on the wall when Rasmus Asplund put Sweden ahead off a rebound after just 13 seconds, the lead doubled by Joakim Nordstrom at 7.43.
Less than three more minutes had passed when Anton Bengtsson made it 3-0, Rasmus Dahlin piling on the misery when his deflected shot snook through Bowns’s legs at 13.09.
Dahlin’s Buffalo Sabres’s team-mate Asplund then doubled his tally, scoring on the power play with just five seconds remaining in the period.
Whistle managed to keep the Swedes at bay in the second, with GB matching their opponents in terms of shots on goal.
It was much better from Russell’s team and it continued into the third period, Sweden adding to their tally with just under seven minutes remaining with a second of the night from Bengtsson.