GB trio delighted with opening victory

Forward Robert Dowd says Great Britain showed great resilience to beat Croatia 4-2 in their opening game at the World Championship (Division 1B) tournament in Belfast.

Dowd scored once and also added two assists as GB scored three third-period goals to open the first men’s World Championship in the UK for 25 years with a three-point victory.

“We came out hard in the third period and did what we had to do,” said Dowd. “It was a bit tight in the second period, but we battled back from that really well.

“It was great to get up and running with a victory, especially in front of the home crowd. The crowd were fantastic and it was so special to play a World Championship game on home ice.

“The Barmy Army were out in force as usual and it was just great to be a part of.”

David Clarke believes GB must stay focused as they prepare to face Estonia in their second game on Monday.

Clarke was one of the goalscorers against Croatia and he admitted it was a relief to get off to a winning start.

“We came out fairly well, but lost our way a little bit in the second period,” said Clarke.

“But it was really good character from the guys coming out hard in the third period. We went back to our style of hockey and it started to pay off. It was a solid performance.

“We regrouped, reset our brains in the third period and we came through.

“It is a long tournament so we must take it day-by-day – there will be bumps along the way, but we all have one goal in mind over the next week.

“It is just a case of staying really focused and not getting ahead of ourselves.”

Evan Mosey scored his first GB goal against Croatia and says the win should give the players belief in how good they can be.

“It’s a huge win to start the tournament, and to get some confidence with the guys – now we know how well we can play and know what was successful for us,” said Mosey.

“We got in a little trouble down five-on-three, but if we use our speed and play smart we can kill the penalties like we did at the end tonight.

“The fans of Great Britain have supported this team throughout the years and it’s huge for them to have a tournament at home.

“They can give us a boost and maybe give a little advantage too in the close games.”

(Image permission: Dean Woolley)

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