3 from 3 leaves GB level with Japan at top of Division 1B

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Great Britain's men's ice hockey team made it three wins from three in ice hockey's World Championship series in Belfast.

It's after a 5-2 win over Lithuania in Division 1 Group B.

Pete Russell's team is level on points with Japan at the top of the standings.

It only took GB a minute to lead as Belfast Giants veteran Colin Shields was on hand to sweep in a rebound on the powerplay at 01:43, but Lithuania were level almost instantly, Arnoldas Bosas tapping in at the back post on their powerplay at 02:12.

At 07:26 GB retook the lead when Jonathan Phillips deflected in Paul Swindlehurst's long range slapshot from right in front of the net, a goal that was given via video review.

The lead was doubled at 12:55 through a sublime Evan Mosey goal, the forward taking it between two defenceman and rattling it low past Artur Pavliukov, before Robert Farmer's blue line slapshot found its way into the top corner at 16:15 to increase the lead further.

Mosey said the first period set the tone.

Much like in their previous two games, GB were slightly off the pace in the second, and a Lithuanian comeback seemed more likely, however a few good stops from Ben Bowns and the pipes denying Emilijus Krakauskas kept the second scoreless.

However, the resistance broke almost as soon as the third period began: Ugnius Cizas finding space at the back post and slamming home Bosas' inch perfect pass at 40:26 with Bowns stranded.

That got Lithuania's tails up as they sought a third goal to set up a nervy finish, but their hopes were dashed when Ben O'Connor got a fortuitous deflection that took it under the unfortunate Pavliukov for GB's fifth at 47:47.

O'Connor says it was a difficult challenge.

GB's penalty kill continued to serve them well, killing off two more powerplays towards the dying stages of the game, and they saw out the game in ease to improve to three wins, level at the top of the standings with Japan.

The Japanese are also three from three after their 6-2 win over Estonia in the day's first game, while Croatia got their first win as they also won by a 6-2 scoreline against Holland.

Coach Pete Russell was happy after the match.


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