Winning start for GB
Winning start for GB
GB comes out on top in high-octane encounter
In a physical encounter where Croatia was eager to make their mark and Great Britain refusing to back down, it was the Brits who in the end came out on top.
Robert Dowd tallied a goal and two assists as he set Great Britain on course to their first win at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in Zagreb.
"We looked hungry and we looked sharp. It was a great start to the tournament," said Great Britain head coach Peter Russell.
Great Britain's first goal of the evening at 11:27 took a bit of an edge out of the Croats who had came out of the traps flying. Dowd was the scorer of the opener with a shot high past Mate Tomljenovic's shoulder.
Needless penalty calls offered Croatia a chance to get back into the game with Mislav Blagus being man in front of Ben Bowns net to react as the hosts tied the game being 5-on-3 after 14:05.
Entering the middle frame, Croatia charged forward once again before Jonathan Weaver put Great Britain back in the lead at 24:12 to the loud cheers of their travelling support.
Any hopes for a Croatian fightback was dented even further when Great Britain started to move the puck around at greater pace and soon reaped their rewards as Ashley Tait and Mark Richardson instigated a move finished off by Craig Peacock to stretch their lead to 3-1 at 35:43.
Colin Shields hit the final nail in the coffin when firing home 4-1 at 48:29 to seal a fine start.
"We looked good with the puck and really took the game to Croatia, especially in the second and third period," said Russell of his crew who will be looking to build on their performance ahead in their next game versus Estonia.
As for Croatia's young team, head coach Alan Letang will have a few things he will look to address ahead of their next game.
"I think we can look back on a few things we should have done a bit differently, such as managing our game a bit better, turnovers and getting more pucks to the net. I think we only had 14 shots," he said as Lithuania are next up for Croatia.
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