IIHF World U18 Championship Division III B in Erzurum, Turkey.
In a thrilling 5-4 last minute, last gasp victory against Bulgaria, Team Ireland U18’s recorded a wonderful maiden victory in Erzurum, Turkey today, having been absent from international competition at this level for 10 years.
Despite the fact that seven of the squad only took up the sport two years ago with the opening of the Dundalk Ice Dome, and playing against nations that have development programmes in operation for decades they came back from a 4-1 deficit to score the game winning goal with just 33 seconds remaining on the clock.
The team is comprised of the best young players from the whole island of Ireland and only five of the panel of twenty will be too old to compete again next year. A hat trick from Belfast’s Colin Grimason which included the winner plus goals from Niall McEvoy of the Flyers I.H.C., and Dundalk’s Aidan Morris secured the historic win.
Having played all three of the other teams Team Ireland are in the bronze medal position and tomorrow meet hosts Turkey in a repeat of a hugely intimidating opening game where the crowd lived up to their renowned reputation for noisy, boisterous and fanatical support of their own team. Victory in this game could see Team Ireland compete on Sunday to decide the destination of the gold and silver medals.
Find out more on www.iiha.org or follow the games live on www.iihf.com by clicking on the link marked U18 Div.IIIB in Turkey.