As has been anticipated all week in Belfast, Great Britain will fight it out for gold and world championship promotion against Japan at the SSE Arena on Saturday night.
Both teams go into the Division 1B encounter boasting a 100 per cent record, Japan picking up their fourth win in as many games by beating Lithuania 6-2 yesterday, before the hosts thrashed a woeful Netherlands team 14-0 on what proved to be a historic night for Belfast Giants’ forward Colin Shields
In his home rink, the 37-year-old winger became Great Britain’s all-time leading scorer after grabbing a hat-trick to move onto 41 international goals and ahead of previous record-holder Tony Hand.
Sheffield Steelers’ forward Robert Dowd scored twice, with team-mate and captain Jonathan Phillips also getting on the scoresheet in the first period.
Sam Duggan scored his first two international goals, while further strikes came from Brendan Brooks (2), Robert Lachowicz, Matthew Myers, Craig Peacock and Liam Stewart.
“We did our job, and we’re back in the money game against Japan,” said GB head coach Peter Russell.
“We approach (tonight) exactly the same; the crowd can be a huge plus – the louder the better.”
Shields was presented – fittingly – with his man-of-the-match award by Hand shortly after the final buzzer, quickly acknowledging the former GB captain and head coach’s role in the British game over the years.
“It is just nice to get the record out of the way and focus on the game (tonight),” said Shields.
“It’s very special because Tony is the best player GB has produced; it’s an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as him.”
Hand added: “Colin, is a great player and fully deserves the accolade.”
It’s very special because Tony is the best player GB has produced; it’s an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as him.Great Britain’s Colin Shields