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By Emily Laycock

Great Britain captain Robert Dowd says “putting a complete 60 together against the last two teams” at the 2024 IIHF World Championship is key to giving the team a good chance of survival in the top flight.

GB can ensure their survival and a place at the 2025 World Championship in Sweden and Denmark with a regulation-time victory against Norway this afternoon.

An overtime or penalty-shot victory would mean GB will need points in their final game with Austria tomorrow.

GB were beaten 4-1 by hosts Czechia in the O2 Arena on Saturday night, but it another performance in which improvements were clearly being made.

The hosts took an early lead scoring two goals inside the opening five minutes, adding another to the tally 36 seconds into the second period, but a powerplay for Great Britain a minute later saw them reduce the deficit to one courtesy of Evan Mosey.

Dowd feels that getting on the scoresheet after two shutout defeats to Finland and Switzerland is a prime example of how positives can be taken even in defeat.

“It was huge [for] the powerplay to grab another one,” said Dowd. “Obviously, special teams in this tournament is a massive thing and our penalty-kill has been doing a great job for us this tournament, so the powerplay to start clicking at the right time is really good.”

Czechia are ranked eight in the world and now have 15 points from six matches after their victory over GB.

Dowd said: “It was a good game. Obviously they came out really hard and they’re a very very obviously talented team.

“They took a lead pretty early so to recover from that and turn it into a pretty good game, I thought it was big strides for us. I thought we grew as the game went on.”

Ben Bowns stood tall in between the pipes for Great Britain producing 41 saves overall and denying Czechia any goals in the final third as the game ended 4-1.

The hosts have been involved in some high-scoring games this tournament with a 6-3 win over Norway and a 7-4 win over Denmark.

“I thought we were defensively solid,” said Dowd. “We were a bit slow at the start – the first five minutes of the first two periods, but if you take those 10 minutes out the whole game, I thought we were pretty solid.

“Only conceding four to a team like Czech who have scored a lot of goals against some very good teams in this tournament, I think we can look at that as a positive.

“Going into these last two games, if we can hold teams to not so many goals and try and pop a few ourselves, we’ve got ourselves a good chance.”

With two games left at the World Championship for Great Britain and the knowledge that a regulatation-win over Norway this afternoon would guarantee their survival in the top flight, the 35-year-old said: “I think we need to try and put a complete 60 together against the last two teams here.

“If we put a complete 60 together like we’ve played that last 20 minutes, I think we’re in a great chance with both of those games.”

Great Britain take-on Norway this afternoon at 16:20 (15:20 UK time) and Austria on Tuesday at 12:20 (11:20 UK time).