Sheffield Steelers star Robert Dowd still on cloud nine after playing his part in Great Britain ice hockey success

Lightning struck twice for Sheffield Steelers and Great Britain forward Robert Dowd...and he just can't get over the feeling.

By Bob Westerdale
Saturday, 25 May, 2019, 23:00
A moment to remember forever for Dowd

In April last year, he scored the goal which brought GB back into the game after falling 2-0 behind to Hungary.

Then, the Brits went on to win and qualify for the top flight in the world championships, held earlier this month in Slovakia.

And history repeated itself in the all-important last game of the 2019 series.

But GB had faith in themselves. Steeler Ben O'Connor identified team-mate Dowd in a better position, the winger faked and then deftly buried the puck, and GB went on to eventually win 4-3 and retain their status in the elite international competition.

Dowd – who celebrates his 31st birthday today - admits to still having goosebumps when he reflects on GB's latest success.

GB in Slovakia

"Looking back, it was excellent...an unbelievable feeling that we'll be back again next year.

"An earlier game against Denmark left a bitter taste in the mouth (they were hammered 9-0) - that was a game I'd thought we had a chance but the goals snowballed, heads started to go, and we lost to a very talented team who knew how to take their chances.

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"But we built up over the week and the France game was just amazing.

"We were three behind and it didn't matter whether it was me or anyone else as long as the next goal was ours.

"If they'd have got a fourth, we'd have been done" admitted the Teessider.

"But Benny got hold of the puck, I thought he was going to shoot, I was screaming for it, it looked like he was taking a swing but then he found me with an unreal pass and I finished it off.

"That brought us back in the game, it put wind under our sails. What a feeling, I still have goosebumps.

"It was one of the best moments of my career. The stadium was bouncing, the locals seemed to be cheering us on and it turned out brilliant for us."

The victory was secured in overtime to ensure Britain secured their place in the top tier in 12 months time.

While GB and France actually finished level on two points in Group A, Pete Russell's outfit avoided relegation courtesy of their head-to-head win.

It means they can take part at the highest level in successive years for the first time since 1951.