GREAT Britain’s ice hockey team have beaten Japan 2-1 to reach the final qualifying stage for the 2014 Winter Olympics, with Milton Keynes’ Leigh Jamieson playing a key part in the success.
Great Britain scored two goals in 30 seconds against the host nation to take control of the game in the first period – Craig Peacock netted on the powerplay after 9:59 before Ben O’Connor fired home his third goal of the tournament at 10:29.
After a scoreless second period, Japan pulled a goal back through Shuhei Kuji at 44:01, but they couldn’t force an equaliser and GB secured the regulation time win they needed to top the four-team pre-qualifying group.
GB had previously lost 5-4 to Korea after penalty shots before beating Romania 3-0, putting them top of the table on seven points from three games.
GB are now through to the Sochi 2014 final qualifying stage which takes place in February. They are likely to travel to Germany for the four-team tournament, but could yet be placed in a group being held in Denmark or Latvia, depending on results in other pre-qualification groups.