Proud
partners

Great Britain booked their place in Final Qualifying for the 2026 Winter Olympics with a 7-4 victory over Romania at the Vindico Arena in Cardiff.

Robert Dowd fed Liam Kirk who shot just wide before Ben Lake got to the puck first on the left boards and sent Brett Perlini clear, who made a nice move on Zoltan Toke to put GB ahead (8:07).

Romania hit back within 22 seconds as Norbert Rokaly’s shot deflected past Bowns off a GB skate (8:29), but GB regained their advantage when Lake tipped-in Ben O’Connor’s shot (18:17).

Bowns made a good glove save to deny Zsombor Molnar early in the second period, before Perlini scored his second of the night when he picked up a loose puck on the doorstep and took a step to the left to slot past Toke to put GB 3-1 ahead (22:04).

Romania closed the gap on the powerplay through Yevgeni Skachkov’s strong wrist-shot through traffic (28:21), but GB scored twice 48 seconds to seize the initiative.

Kirk and Cade Neilson set-up Sam Jones (36:44) while Sam Ruopp redirected Sean Norris’ shot towards net (37:32).

GB scored a sixth when Neilson battled to keep possession which enabled Dowd to feed Kirk at the backdoor (44:32).

Hugo Gecse’s shot went in off the post as Romania scored their third 58 seconds later (45:30), before Neilson’s backhand shot on the rebound made it 7-3 to GB (47:06).

Matias Haaranen scored on the powerplay for Romania when he moved himself into the slot and sent a wrist-shot past Bowns (55:50).

That was the end of the scoring and GB made it three wins from three to book a place in the final round of qualifying for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Schedule and results
Thursday 8th February 
Romania 4-0 Serbia
Great Britain 10-1 China – Goals: Kirk 2, Critchlow 2, Richardson, Curran, Neilson, Dowd, Davies, Halbert

Saturday 10th February
Romania 6-1 China
Serbia 0-11 Great Britain – Goals: Dowd 3, Perlini 2, Critchlow, Shudra, Whistle, Jones, Halbert, Neilson

Sunday 11th February 
China 7-5 Serbia
Great Britain 7-4 Romania – Goals: Perlini 2, Lake, Jones, Ruopp, Kirk, Neilson

Photo credit: Dean Woolley.