GREAT BRITAIN 3 DINAMO RIGA 1
Luke Ferrara, Ben Lake and Ben O’Connor were all on target as Great Britain got their World Championships preparations off to the best possible start with victory over KHL side Dinamo Riga.
Pete Russell’s team gave the sell-out crowd something to really enjoy with a big win over a team from one of the best leagues in the world.
It was Luke Ferrara put the home team in front on the break when GB moved forward and the Coventry Blaze forward applied the finish after eight minutes.
The Brits could have been two up when Mark Richardson saw his effort denied, followed by Ben O’Connor who fired wide.
Having a goal up was the start the home fans hoped for after the first period and from there, the night seemed to get a little better.
Three minutes into the restart, GB doubled their lead as another Coventry player found the net on their home ice to get the crowd going again.
Ben Lake took the puck on down the right side shorthanded and cut into his left before delivering a well taken finish and Britain were two up.
Ben Bowns kept the score blank up the other end with a big save as the period wound down and the net remained unblemished going into the third.
The home side could have added a third when Ciaran Long couldn’t quite get a shot away as he lurked at the back post.
Then Jonathan Phillips saw his chance go over the bar, as Riga continued to battle their way back into the game in the final period.
Dinamo piled on the pressure as the game moved into the final stages and managed to close the gap as Edijs Brahmanis found the net on the powerplay.
However O’Connor killed them off with a late empty net finish to secure the victory and make it 3-1 in a great night for the national team.
GB head coach Pete Russell said afterwards: “It was great night to play at a packed Skydome in front of so many passionate fans.
“We played immense tonight and it was fantastic to see us do so well against a quality KHL side. It’s important to get quality games in ahead of the World Championship and this enabled us to do that.”