ICE HOCKEY: Austin wins gold with Great Britain Under 18s in Estonia

The medal presentations
The medal presentations

Fifth seeds overcome the odds for tournament victory

Junior ice hockey player Austin Mitchell-King has won gold with Great Britain Under 18s.

Austin Mitchell-King

Austin Mitchell-King

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Under 18 World Championship Division 2A tournament was held in Tallinn, Estonia last week.

Going into the tournament as fifth seeds out of the six teams GB Under 18s overcame the odds to gain gold with four wins and one defeat in their five games.

The overall result was only decided in the final game when Poland dropped a point to Estonia. As well as bringing home the gold medals Great Britain are promoted to division 1B for next season.

The tournament was held in the Tondiraba Icehall in Tallinn and the GB team flew out on March 27 for a three-day training camp to work on drills and team organisation and play a couple of challenge games before the tournament started in earnest on Easter Sunday.

Great Britain’s results were a 6-3 win against the Estonian hosts, a 9-2 win versus Australia, a narrow 5-4 defeat against Poland (bronze medallists), a 3-2 win against the silver medallists Lithuania and a 4-3 win against Korea.

Austin, who plays for Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey Academy and is assisted by GGL through Rugby Borough Sports awards, was one of the youngest on the GB team and stepped up a line during the second game due to an injury to one of the older GB players.

He retained his place for the remaining games although playing as a winger instead of his more favoured position at centre.

He registered his first international career point in assisting one of the goals against Poland.

After experiencing the heights of playing for his country Austin now returns to finishing the league season for Coventry’s U18 team, playing for the Coventry U20s in the UK final versus Fife Falcons and then representing the Midlands at Under 17 level in the UK Championships at the end of May.