Great Britain set-up a winner-takes-all showdown with Romania tomorrow with an 11-0 victory over Serbia in their second game at the Olympic Qualifiers in Cardiff. The winners will progress to Final Qualifying for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.

Robert Dowd scored a hat-trick and there were first GB goals for Cole Shudra, Brandon Whistle and Sam Jones. Jackson Whistle – who got a 12-shot shutout – got the start between the pipes with Ben Bowns as back-up.

Dowd put GB ahead when he put away his own rebound after making a great move in the offensive zone (3:20) and that’s the way the score remained until GB netted eight times in the second period.

Liam Kirk stepped out from behind the net and Brett Perlini got the touch, which saw the puck hit the bar and go into the net off the back of Serbian netminder Arsenije Rankovic (20:57).

Kirk fed Dowd on the doorstep (23:46) before Shudra scored a wonder goal as he dangled into the offensive zone, beat his man and fired past Rankovic (26:14).

Rankovic was replaced by Lazar Ilic but he was quickly beaten when Neilson found Dowd (30:37) who became the first GB men’s player to score a hat-trick since Colin Shields against the Netherlands at the 2017 World Championship in Belfast.

Robert Lachowicz won the puck and fed Cam Critchlow in the slot (32:01), before Shudra used his strength to force a turnover, fed Ben Davies who set-up Whistle for his first GB goal (34:37).

Sean Norris and Evan Mosey combined for Perlini to grab his second of the night (35:39) and Sam Jones netted his first GB goal from right-point with the aid of a deflection (37:31).

Nathanael Halbert forced the puck over the line from a goalmouth scramble (40:29), while Cade Neilson glided into the offensive zone and scored on his backhand (45:01).

Davies was denied by Ilic on a penalty-shot and Serbia held GB for the remaining 15 minutes.

GB against Romania faces-off at 7pm tomorrow night.

Photo credit: Ian Offers.

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 v Serbia – 3pm
Great Britain v Romania – 7pm