Lord Stanley would be proud. Great Britain’s men’s ice hockey team pulled off its biggest win in more than a half-century on Monday.
Great Britain beat France 4-3 in overtime at the world championship in Slovakia, in its last game of the tournament, to avoid relegation and remain in the top division of worlds in 2020 with the likes of the U.S., Canada and Russia.
France, whose streak of 12 straight top-level world championship appearances ends, had led 3-0 in the second period.
“We just don’t know when we are beaten,” golden-goal scorer Ben Davies said, according to Ice Hockey U.K. “This just underlines what GB is all about.”
It marked the Brits’ first win at a top-level worlds or Olympics since 1962. Great Britain last qualified for an Olympics in 1948. Its only top-level world championship appearance since 1962 was in 1994, when it lost all five games by a combined 44-7.
At these worlds, Great Britain was outscored 38-5 in its first six games, all losses. It came into the 16-nation event as the lowest-ranked team at No. 22 in the world.
“No one knows anything about U.K. hockey, and the first couple of days here people were laughing at us,” defenseman Ben O’Connor said, according to The New York Times, which reported that fans dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, Mary Poppins, Beefeaters, cricket bats and the Olympic ski jumper Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards to the Brits’ 6-3 loss to the U.S. last Wednesday.
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