Great Britain off to a flyer

Great Britain began their World Championship (Division 1B) with a 4-1 victory over hosts Croatia in Zagreb.

Croatia made the better start in the early stages, before GB’s first real pressure came on the powerplay.

David Clarke and Craig Peacock went close before Dowd pinged a shot off the crossbar.

GB took the lead after 11 minutes as Dowd scored his 15th international goal with a ripper of a shot over Mate Tomljenovic’s shoulder from left side.

Croatia hit back less than three minutes later as Mislav Blagus netted on the doorstep on a five-on-three powerplay.

Jonathan Weaver restored GB’s lead with a neat top-shelf finish from the left circle in the 24th minute.

GB’s pressure continued and Jonathan Boxill, Josh Batch and David Phillips all had chances on the same shift and it was no surprise when they scored a third goal.

Ashley Tait and Mark Richardson combined to set up Craig Peacock who fired low past Tomljenovic after 35 minutes.

Colin Shields scored his 35th international goal when he drove from the left circle to give GB a 4-1 lead in th 48th minute to wrap the victory up.

Head Coach Pete Russell said: “I was very happy with that performance. We looked good with the puck and really took the game to Croatia, especially in the second and third period.

“We looked hungry and we looked sharp. It was a great start to the tournament. We have prepared well for this tournament and I think that showed as the game went on.

“There are one or two things we can improve on but that is a great start.”

GB are back in action as they face Estonia. (3.30pm UK time).

(Image permission: IceHockeyMedia)

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