Shields ends on high as GB stage big World upset
Belfast Giants legend Colin Shields signed off in the perfect fashion as Great Britain caused a major shock by avoiding relegation from the top tier of international ice hockey.
Needing a win over France in their final group game in Kosice, Slovakia, Guildford Flames forward Ben Davies scored 2:03 into overtime to hand Pete Russell’s men the most unlikely of 4-3 victories and ensure their place in the top tier for next season.
Not only were GB expected to lose, but they had to battle back from three goals down midway through the second period as France pulled away thanks to goals from Anthony Rech (2) and Sacha Treille.
But they pulled level as Robert Dowd, Mike Hammond and Robert Farmer all found the twine, with Davies’ sensational overtime finish handing GB the win that sends them to Switzerland next year and condemned France to the second tier.
It was the best way for Shields to head into retirement, with the 39-year-old playing his final game before hanging up the skates, while the Giants also had d-man Paul Swindlehurst and head coach Adam Keefe — as an assistant to Russell — involved.