Tait hails GB’s character

Great Britain forward Ashley Tait has hailed his side’s intensity and bottle as they beat hosts Croatia in their first game at the 2016 World Championship (Division 1B) in Zagreb.

Goals from Robert Dowd, Jonathan Weaver, Craig Peacock and Colin Shields saw GB skate to a 4-1 victory on the opening day in the Dom Sportova Arena.

Tait, who won his 106th cap, said: “There were many good things about this performance. We played at a good tempo throughout the game, which was very pleasing.

“Croatia came at us hard early on but we managed to quickly get a foothold in the game. We fought for every puck and played intense. We also did not back down from any confrontation.

“The guys enjoyed it out there and it was a great game to be a part of. We need to remain focused and not get ahead of ourselves.

“A lot can happen in these tournaments, so we must make sure we turn up every night.”

Colin Shields says Estonia are an improving nation and must not be taken lightly when GB face them on Monday.

Estonia began the six-team tournament with a 7-2 defeat by Lithuania.

“We had a tough game against Estonia last year,” said Shields. “They are an improving nation as well.

“They had a tough game yesterday against Lithuania and they will be looking to bounce back.

“We just need to continue on the things we worked on yesterday and build on getting towards the gold medal.”

Shields, who scored GB’s fourth goal last night, was presented with a special cap in the dressing room before the game to mark his 75th cap.

“It was a proud moment – it is something I don’t keep track of but the day before, someone told me I was on 74 caps,” he added.

“I’ve been fortunate to stay more or less injury free. I think I have only missed two tournaments in the last 16 years.

“It was good to share the moment with the guys in the locker room and hopefully I have a lot more games ahead.

“The overall goal is to win promotion and the gold medal, but it is nice to acknowledge milestones like that.”

(Image permission: IceHockeyMedia)

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