Great Britain off to a flyer against Croatia

Three third-period goals saw Great Britain open their World Championship (Division 1B) tournament with a 4-2 victory over Croatia at Belfast’s SSE Arena.

Evan Mosey scored his first international goal on his sixth appearance, while Robert Dowd, David Clarke and Russ Cowley were also on target.

GB handed debut caps to Brendan Brooks, 18-year-old Sam Duggan and Liam Stewart.

Ben O’Connor had GB’s best chance of the opening stages when his fierce shot from the blueline was saved by Mate Tomljenovic.

Ben Bowns had to be alert at the other end, making two saves from out in front, as GB killed off successive penalties to Brooks and Dowd.

Robert Lachowicz and Jonathan Phillips went close on the same shift, before Dowd fired GB in front with a shot from just inside the blueline through traffic on the powerplay in the 15th minute.

Croatia hit back midway through the second session when Mislav Blagus netted on the doorstep, but GB stepped things up early in third as Clarke and Mosey made it 3-1.

David Brine pulled one back for Croatia after 54 minutes, but Cowley’s late goal secured a 4-2 success.

Head Coach Pete Russell said: “It wasn’t our best performance, but we came up big in the third period.

“They could’ve let their heads drop after a disappointing second period, but we came out strong and two quick goals effectively sealed the game.

“It’s a long tournament and we should be very happy with the result, but the good thing is they know they can do better.

“We had some good performances all across the ice and it’s important the players rest now ahead of another big game.”

(Image permission: Dean Woolley)

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