Robert Farmer scored the game-winning goal five minutes from time in Eindhoven, setting Russell’s team up nicely ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Korea (4pm).
GB went in front when David Phillips broke free down the right-hand side and fired low past Roman Shumikhin at 15.36. It was a lead they held until 33.19 when Robert Rooba was allowed too much time to fire in low past Rotherham-born netminder Ben Bowns.
In the third period, Jack Prince, Robert Dowd and Colin Shields all had chances in quick succession to restore GB’s lead and the pressure eventually told when Farmer got the final touch to a goalmouth scramble on a delayed penalty at 54.10 for the third goal of his international career.
“No game is easy and I knew this one would not be any different,” said Russell. “But I am proud of the way we kept going and that’s two from two now and an excellent start to the tournament.”
“Sure, we weren’t at our best but we kept on going and ground it out. Estonia are a better team than many give them credit for.”
Sheffield Steelers’ defenceman Ben O’Connor admitted GB, the highest-ranked team in Division 1B, needed to improve in a number of areas.
“We certainly weren’t at our best, but we pulled out a win,” he said.
“We weren’t pleased with some of the things we did and we will have to work on that.
“But the important thing was winning the game and getting a massive three points.”