The stage is set for the 2019 Women’s World Championship Division II, an international ice hockey tournament run by the International Ice Hockey Federation from April 2 to April 8 at Dumfries Ice Bowl.
The British women's national ice hockey team will host Australia, DPR Korea, Mexico, Slovenia, and Spain. For the second time in five years, Dumfries Ice Bowl will host the Division II Group. This tournament of six teams will battle it out for a promotion to Division I. From the six-team tournament, the top team advances to Division I Group B in 2020 and the bottom team drops to Division II Group B.
Great Britain beat Australia 2-1 in their opening game with Beth Scoon scoring her first goal for GB in the first period and 17-year-old Aimee Headland netted on her debut for the senior team, while goalkeeper Nicole Jackson turned away 18 of the 19 shots she faced. GB dominated throughout the game.
The first period saw few ups and down as Chloe Headland was denied on the doorstep and at the other end, Jackson made a fine save from Kate Tihema’s shot. Headland also went close when she created a turnover in the neutral zone but her shot was saved by Michelle Coonan.
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GB then scored their first goal when Jodie Bloom set up Scoon for a bullet from the blue line at right point assisted by Allen Saffron (15:34).
The Second session saw Katie Marsden break free early but shot just wide before Jackson was at her best to keep out two Australia close-range shots. Saffron Allen, Kim Lane, Steph Towns, and Georgina Farman all had their chances before the period came to an end. No goals were scored in the second period.
The third period was action filled with Sharna Godfrey breaking free for Australia but Jackson got a piece of it to deny her a goal. At one point Marsden got so close to scoring GB’s second goal. Aimee Headland stole the puck in the offensive zone and scored a brilliant floated top-shelf finish (50:17).
Michelle Clark-Crumpton was the lone scorer for Australia at the end of the game with a backhand top-shelf finish on the doorstep at 58:50, but GB took away the opening-night victory.
In other games, Spain Women, who were promoted last season, beat Slovenia Women 4-3 following a penalty shootout and Mexico Women secured a 4-2 victory over DPR Korea.
GB return to action on Thursday when they face Slovenia Women.