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GB enter the last chance saloon

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Niklas Friman celebrates. Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

Niklas Friman celebrates. Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

Niklas Friman celebrates. Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

As suspected from the start, Great Britain’s bid to avoid relegation from the World Championships will come down to their final two games after yesterday’s 6-0 loss to hosts and World No.1-ranked nation Finland in Tampere.

It’s long been believed that GB’s hopes of staying in the top tier for a fourth season would rest on their games against Latvia tomorrow and Austria on Monday, and Pete Russell’s side go into the ties bottom of Group B with just one point.

And they now know they will likely need something from both games if they want to survive after Latvia and Austria battled into overtime, with Latvia winning the shootout 3-2 to move into fifth place on five points, alongside Norway in sixth, with Austria on four points in seventh and a vastly superior goal difference to Great Britain’s.

Russell’s men will need to find their scoring touch in order to prevail in either game after Finland subjected them to back-to-back 6-0 losses — having lost by the same score to the USA on Thursday — and a third consecutive shut-out.

The rampant hosts got their goals from Niklas Friman, Juuso Hietanen, Valtteri Filppula, Joel Armia, Saku Mäenalanen and Toni Rajala.

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