GREAT BRITAIN 5-1 ESTONIA

Great Britain kept up their 100% record in the IIHF World Championship Division 1 Group B with a 5-1 victory over Estonia in Belfast’s SSE Arena.

Liam Stewart scored his first international goal, David Clarke and Evan Mosey were on the scoresheet for the second time in the tournament, while Mark Garside and David Phillips were also on target.

Netminder Stephen Murphy turned away 21 of the 22 shots he faced in the rink where he plays for Elite League side Belfast Giants.

Brendan Brooks was denied on the doorstep inside the first four minutes, before Clarke’s clever pass from the right circle saw Garside touch in his fourth international goal from the slot (4:38).

Jonathan Weaver’s blast from the blueline was saved by the pad of Villem-Henrik Koitmaa, while David Phillips made it 2-0 with a shot through traffic at 19:19.

Murphy had to be alert to turn away a tip by Roman Andrejev tip, but the same man pulled Estonia to within one when he redirected a pass from Lauri Lahesalu on the powerplay at 29:20.

Robert Dowd danced through from the left circle but was denied down low by Koitmaa.

Stewart, in his debut men’s World Championship tournament, scored his first international goal with a rebound on the doorstep at 41:16.

Clarke reacted first to a loose puck (44:02) and 26 seconds later Mosey turned in a pass from Matthew Myers (44:28) to make it 5-1 to GB. 

Coach, Pete Russell, said: “This was a great performance and once again we showed we could get it done in the end.

“We had a sticky spot in the second period but we came out hard in the third period and got the job done.

“You just have to stay focused in a tournament like this and keep grinding out the results.

“Estonia gave us a tough game but the deeper the game went, I thought we looked the fresher team.

“There’s a long way to go in this tournament but we have made a very good start.”

GB join Japan, who beat Croatia 4-2 and Lithuania, who defeated Netherlands 8-0, at the top of the table on six points.

There are no games in the tournament tomorrow with GB returning to action on Wednesday against Lithuania (7:30pm).

Photo credit: Dean Woolley.