Great Britain blueliner Ben O’Connor hailed his side’s first period performance against Lithuania, saying the four goal blast won them the game.
O’Connor, who has inked a new contract with Sheffield Steelers, picked up a goal and two assists in the 5-2 success which gave GB three wins from three in the Belfast tournament.
“We came out hard in the first period and I think that’s where we killed the game off. We were sloppy in the second and a little patchy in the third but it was a good first period and that won us the game.
“The five on three penalty kill was a big moment – our PK is usually very good when we come away to these tournaments and that was a big turning point.”
Great Britain and Japan each have nine points at the top of the standings and are scheduled to meet in the final game of the tournament on Saturday night. However O’Connor says the team aren’t looking past Netherlands on Friday.
“It is cliched when we say ‘one game at a time’ but it is so very true. If you slip up in a game like that then the gold medal is gone. We will give them the utmost respect and come to play our game and get the job done.”
O’Connor also highlighted the spirit in the Great Britain camp, with the squad having been together almost three weeks now.
“We all love coming away and playing for GB,” he said.
“It’s a fantastic atmosphere, the camaraderie we have and a lot of the guys have known each other for a long time.
“It is fun – away from the rink, at the rink we have fun. But when it comes to business we knuckle down and work hard for one another.”
Great Britain face Netherlands in their fourth game in Division 1B of the IIHF World Championship, face off at SSE Arena in Belfast is 7.30pm.
Photo credit: Dean Woolley.