GB off to winning start at IIHF World Championships in Belfast

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A 4-2 win over Croatia at the SSE Arena in Belfast gave Great Britain a winning start in their IIFH World Championships Division 1B campaign.

Cardiff Devils' Ben Bowns started in nets ahead of Stephen Murphy, and made some smart saves in the face of Croatia threats.

His opposite number, Mate Tomljenovic, was also in good form, but GB got a first period lead on the powerplay thanks to a Robert Dowd wrister at 15:30.

It was an even second period, and it was no surprise that the two teams went in at the second intermission level when Mislav Blagus tapped in at the back post at 28:17 following a scramble at the net.

But in the third period GB put themselves in the driving seat with two quick goals. The first came courtesy of David Clarke, who hammered home at 43:46 from the left wing.

Evan Mosey then added a third for the hosts, his first international goal, at 46:45 as he shot in from the slot, but a David Brine goal at 54:25 made it nervy for GB going into the final few minutes, the Croatian forward tapping in as Bowns spilled a slapshot.

In the end the day would belong to GB and it came courtesy of veteran Russell Cowley, who tipped in a Robert Lachowicz wrister at 58:56 to ensure the fans at the SSE Arena would go home happy.

In the day's first game, Japan picked up their first win in a 6-1 defeat of Holland

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