Japan continued their winning streak with a fourth victory from four matches as they beat Lithuania 6-2 in the World Championship Division 1 Group B in Belfast.
Their victory means they are guaranteed at least a silver medal following their relegation from Division 1 Group A last season.
The only goal of the first period was scored by Japan as Makuru Furuhashi put away his own rebound at 2:23.
The second period burst into life with three goals in three-and-half-minutes, with Lithuania equalising when Emilijus Krakauskas netted on one knee from the slot (21:52).
Daisuke Obara fired home from the top of the left circle (23:47) to put Japan ahead again, before Lithuania levelled through Mark Kaleinkovas’ tip (25:16).
Japan made sure they had a 3-2 second-period lead when Kenta Takagi poked the puck home on the powerplay (32:50).
The game was put to bed with two goals in 39 seconds as Yushi Nakayashiki reacted first to a loose puck (47:13) and Takagi scored his second of the afternoon (47:52).
Go Tanaka scored at 54:51 to set the seal on a comprehensive Japan victory.
Japan move onto 12 points from four matches, three points clear of second-placed Great Britain who play Netherlands this evening.
Photo credit: Ian Offers.