GB take gold in the IIHF World Championships Division 1B

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By Q Radio Sport

Japan        0
Great Britain    4

Great Britain produced a stunning performance as they swept Japan aside to take Gold in the IIHF World Championships Division 1B, winning 4-0 at the SSE Arena in Belfast.

In what was supposed to be a tense and tight shootout for the Gold medal, GB took the lead in the first period through Robert Dowd and then never relinquished it, nor did it look like they would.

Ben Bowns was unbeatable in nets, tested rarely but coming up with some key saves when it mattered, while opposite number Yutaka Fukufuji was left stranded on several occasions by his defence.

It also means that, in addition to taking Gold, GB will be promoted to Division 1A next season, one step below the main World Championships but a significant step up nonetheless.

Dowd's first period goal came at 17:42, the result of GB's dominance in the opening 20, as they made a 5-on-3 powerplay count, meaning they led going into the first intermission.

Throughout the week the second period was where GB had struggled most, but for the final game they pulled out all the stops and seized full control of the tie in the second 20.

First came a goal for Brendan Brooks at 24:37, the Fife Flyers forward tipping in Dowd's long range effort to double GB's advantage before Japan were denied a goal by video review after a scramble in the goalmouth.

It was Matthew Myers' first that finally allowed the raucous crowd in the SSE Arena to relax somewhat, the Cardiff forward tipping in a shot from Colin Shields right in front of Fukufuji at 29:19.

And the Devils man doubled his tally 37:55, sweeping home as Evan Mosey did all the hard work before putting it on a plate with a pass across goal.

The third was as straightforward as it came - Bowns was never called into serious action at one end, while GB were happy enough to see out the game without significantly testing Fukufuji either.

The final hooter signalled chants of "We are going up", while there were added celebrations for Ben O'Connor and Shields who were named Defenceman and Forward of the Tournament respectively.

It means GB will be playing their hockey a division up next season, against higher ranked sides such as Kazakhstan, Poland and Hungary, a challenge they will now relish after this fantastic week.

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