Sheffield Steelers’ winger Robert Dowd got Great Britain off to a fine start in the World championship Division 1B round robin tournament, scoring three points in a 4-2 victory over Croatia, in Belfast.
He opened the scoring at 15.30 with a Power Play goal, after a play involving Mark Richardson and Robert Farmer.
The sides were level at the end of the middle period, 28:17 Mislav Blagus replying at 28;17, also on the PP.
GB wrestled control back with an even-handed goal from David Clarke at 43:46, Dowd assisting.
And Dowd added to that by setting up a goal for Evan Mosey.
Croatia dug deep and reduced the margin to 3-2 through David Brine, with six minutes left.
Russell Cowley made the game safe at 58:56, scoring GB’s fourth of an encouraging night.
Later, Dowd says GB showed great resilience in the game
“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.”
Meanwhile team-mate David Clarke says GB must stay focused as they prepare for their second game in Belfast.
GB host Estonia in the final game of day two at the SSE Arena this evening (7.30pm).
Today’s other games see Japan play Croatia at 12:30pm and Lithuania meet Netherlands at 4pm.
“It is a long tournament so we must take it day-by-day,” said the Nottingham Panthers forward.
“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.”
Clarke was one of GB’s goalscorers against Croatia yesterday as they scored three third-period goals to win the game.
“It was a good game. We came out fairly well but lost our way a little bit in the second period,” continued 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.”