Rotherham-born Great Britain forward Liam Kirk has finished as joint-leading goalscorer at this year’s World Championship in Latvia and was also named on the all-star team.
MyRotherham reported how two of the GB squad grew up in Rotherham – Kirk, who is from Maltby, and Swinton’s Ben Bowns – a netminder.
21-year-old Kirk scored seven goals in seven matches, which was the same tally as Andrew Mangiapane who was part of Canada’s gold medal-winning side as the Canadians beat Finland 3-2 in overtime in the final.
Kirk scored in GB’s opening games of the tournament against Russia and Slovakia.
He netted twice in Britain’s historic 4-3 victory over Belarus – their first regulation-time win at the top level since 1962.
After adding to his tally against Sweden, Kirk scored twice in GB’s final game against Switzerland.
Liam is the first English born and developed player to be selected in an NHL draft and his appearance in the scoring charts is the first time a Brit has featured so highly since Gerry Davey in 1938.
Kirk, who was a seventh round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, was also named in the Tournament’s all star team. An amazing achievement from the youngest player in the team ranked 19th in the world before the start of the tournament.
All-Star Team selected by the media
GK: Jussi Olkinuora (FIN)
DE: Korbinian Holzer (GER)
DE: Moritz Seider (GER)
FW: Andrew Mangiapane (CAN)
FW: Conor Garland (USA)
FW: Liam Kirk (GBR)
Liam discussed his performance with the Odd Man Rush YouTube channel. He said: “This whole tournament, my mindset going into it was just to play the right way, and play hard, and do the right things. There were times when I was younger when I got focused on scoring goals, and when it doesn’t happen, your game, you play worse because of that.
“I obviously knew that there was gonna be eyes on me, for the NHL and all that stuff, but I tried not to focus on that and focus on it being a tournament for your national team. It’s an absolute honour – go and enjoy it, have fun, play hockey.”
Images: GB Ice Hockey