GB through to Winter Olympics final qualifying round

Ice hockey: reports, news and more.

Ice hockey: reports, news and more.

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GREAT BRITAIN pulled off a sensational win over host nation Japan today to go through to the final qualifying round of the Winter Olympics.

The win sets up a potential winner-takes-all clash with host nation Japan tomorrow in their second game at the Olympic pre-qualifiers (Group J).

Netminder Stephen Murphy secured a 17-shot shut-out as David Longstaff celebrated his 100th GB cap with two assists.

Murphy, Matthew Myers and Welshman Phillips all won their 50th cap on a memorable afternoon in Japan.

GB took the lead at 3:17 through Leigh Jamieson, before Ben O’Connor netted his second goal of the tournament at 18:32.

Great Britain led 2-0 at the end of the first period and there was no scoring in period two.

Robert Dowd - like Longstaff an ex Sheffield winger - increased the lead (52:39) as GB recorded their first victory of the tournament.

Head coach, Tony Hand, commented: “We dominated the game and fully deserved our victory.

“All the guys played their hearts out. They were fantastic and there were man-of-the-match performances all over the ice.

“We are very much alive in this tournament and hopefully this result has set up a thrilling final game against Japan.

“I am so pleased for David Longstaff. It was fantastic to get a win to mark his 100th cap.”

Longstaff was presented with a special GB shirt and glass plaque before the game.

GB, who lost to Korea on penalty shots yesterday, play their final game of the tournament tomorrow against Japan (9am UK time).

Japan now need the hosts to beat Korea in today’s second game of the day to set-up a winner-takes-all clash.

The group winners will then travel to Germany in February for final qualifying for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

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