Belfast Telegraph

Winning gold is my top priority, not GB's scoring record: Shields

 

By Stuart McKinley

Gold comes before goals for Colin Shields as the battle for World Championship glory builds towards an exciting climax.

The Belfast Giants forward struck his 38th international goal in Great Britain's 5-2 win over Lithuania on Wednesday night and he is now just two away from the modern day record set by Shields' fellow Scotsman, GB ice hockey legend Tony Hand.

After a goal-laden season with the Giants, Shields has shown the kind of form that could net him the record before the week is out, with Pete Russell's team facing the Netherlands this evening before what is a potential gold medal decider against Japan, who like GB have won all three games so far, on Saturday night.

After the disappointment of settling for silver in each of the last two World Championships, winning comes first this time.

"I think it's more the media and the stats guys who get involved with that kind of thing," said Shields on the prospect of breaking the record in what he now calls his home city.

"It came to light last year that I was getting close, but the biggest thing this week is getting the points for the team and keeping the wins coming.

"We do that and we set up the gold medal game we want."

After a 4-2 win over Croatia and a 5-1 success against Estonia, GB ended Lithuania's 100 per cent start with a 5-2 win on Wednesday.

Shields believes GB's level of performance is gradually getting better and that bodes well with two crucial games on the horizon in the quest for top spot and promotion to Division 1 Group A.

"I'd say that was our most complete performance," said Shields.

"We had a bit of a lapse in the second period, but they stepped it up and brought some pressure which we responded to.

"We had a really good third and shut them down. They played a physical game, but we're used to that with the style of hockey we play in the league here.

"Everyone played well and it was good to get the points."

Belfast Telegraph

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