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Stunning performance gives GB victory over Belarus!

Photo: Dean Woolley

Team Great Britain got their first regulation win in the top-flight of the IIHF World Championships since 1962 with a 4-3 win over Belarus in Riga.

After weathering some early Belarus pressure, GB grew into the game and deservedly took the lead through Liam Kirk inside 14 minutes - the Sheffield-born forward with the near hands to after Geoff Platt's mistake in his own zone.

GB, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, had the better of the early chances against the world number 13 side at the beginning of period two, but after killing off a penalty they were unable to keep Belarus out further - Vladislav Kodola finished a broken play to tie things up at just shy of the halfway mark in the game. That setback however spurred GB on, and they regained the lead when Ben Davis slotted home on the fall after great work from Matt Myers to turn the puck over behind the Belarus net. Fans at home watching on FreeSports up and down the country then no doubt went wild when Kirk fired home a laser from the slot 89 seconds later to put GB 3-1 ahead.

The third started at a frantic pace, but it was GB who got the all-important next goal thanks to a fine finish from Mike Hammond to take a three-goal cushion heading into the final ten minutes. A bad turnover allowed Platt to bring the deficit back to 4-2 at 51:19, and then hearts were in mouths when Shane Price slotted home with 2:17 left to play to make it a one-goal game. However, a combination of great goaltending from Ben Bowns and players blocking shots kept Belarus out and GB held on for a famous win, with Liam Kirk now jointly leading the overall scoring charts for the tournament.

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