GB win gold and promotion to top-flight
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze Forward Luke Ferrara, Chairman Andy Buxton, Physio Nikki Sherlock and Equipment Manager Steve Small were all part of a sensational Gold medal campaign for Team Great Britain in Budapest.
Following victories over Slovenia, Poland and Italy, GB, ranked 24th in the world and the tournament’s bottom seeds needed just a single point against the hosts Hungary in the final game on Saturday night.
Trailing 2-0 with 10 minutes to go, Sheffield Steelers' Robert Dowd cut the deficit to one before former Blaze forward and current Nottingham Panther, Robert Farmer sent GB into dreamland with the equalising goal with only 15.8 seconds remaining.
GB went on to win the game 3-2 by securing a penalty-shot victory (full highlights) and will be joined in the top flight by Italy, while Kazakhstan win the bronze medal.
The gold medal, against all the odds was GB's second in consecutive tournaments, gaining promotion to play in the top level of the World Championship for the first time since 1994.
GB Head Coach Pete Russell said, "We dared to dream and we did it. I just cannot believe it. This team is very special and what we have pulled off is absolutely unbelievable. We did not give up and showed true British spirit to pull that one out of the bag. I am so proud of every single one of them and we will now play the best teams in the world next year. Our team work rate was immense every single night and they dug need to provide GB with one of our greatest-ever moments."
GB General Manager Andy Buxton commented, "It's incredible. I'm lost for words. We've shaken the hockey world this week and turned it on its head! We were 15 seconds away from not making it and going home with a bronze and up pops Robert Farmer. He does amazing things for GB and I'm so thrilled that he could get a goal like that."
Scorer of the all-important game-tying goal Robert Farmer concluded, "It was a rubbish goal but I just don’t care. I cannot put into words what I am feeling right now. It is so hard to sum it up. We are now going to play the best teams in the world next year and that is so amazing. We never doubted ourselves and we dug deep to get the most breathtaking victory of my career."