#2017BELFAST: FOCUS ON LITHUANIA

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LITHUANIA
WORLD RANKING: 25th
LAST YEAR: 3rd in IIHF World Championship Division 1 Group B
COACH: Bernd Haake

As the countdown to the historic World Championship Division 1 Group B in Belfast begins, we take a look at the six teams who will play in the first men’s World Championship in the UK for 25 years. Here’s the lowdown on Lithuania…

Lithuania have won the bronze medal in Division 1 Group B for three years in a row as they begin their climb back up the IIHF world rankings.

After four fifth-placed finishes from 2010 to 2013, a Dainius Zubrus-inspired Lithuania won the bronze medal on home ice in 2014.

Third-placed finishes in Netherlands and Croatia have followed as Lithuania have steadily climbed to 25th in the IIHF world rankings.

Last year, Lithuania opened the tournament in Croatia by beating Estonia 7-2 and then saw off Romania 5-1 in game two.

An 8-0 thrashing by Great Britain halted their progress, but a 2-1 victory over top seed Ukraine gave them a chance of a gold medal going into the final day.

Ukraine beat GB 2-1 to secure promotion and Britain had to settle for silver, while Lithuania’s bronze medal was secured with a point in a 2-1 penalty-shot defeat by Croatia.