Great Britain head coach Pete Russell has warned his players not to take the Netherlands lightly when they meet in their latest World Championships game this evening (Friday).
The Brits have three wins in three as they go for the gold medal – stark contrast to three straight losses for the Dutch, who will look to upset the hosts in Belfast.
And Russell is pleased at how his team have come along as they eye up a winner takes all clash with Japan on Saturday as they look to gain promotion from Division One Group B.
“The Netherlands haven’t had a good campaign, but that doesn’t mean we can take them lightly,” said Russell, a former Cardiff Devils director of player development.
“We have a job to do and I’m confident we will.
“If we do and get Friday out the way, then we can start to look at Saturday’s game against Japan and the start of the game is important for this one again.
“I think we’re getting better every game. We certainly look good in the offensive zone and have been relentless in forechecking and the powerplay has started firing.
“The penalty killing has got stronger after losing a couple of five-on-threes so the percentage maybe looks worse than it is. We’re doing well in the face-offs and goaltending so it’s all good so far.
“The first periods in all games have been good from us, starting lively and really taking it to teams in the early stages. That’s something we touch on before every game and we go out to set the tone.
“There’s a real good vibe among the players right now and they know when it’s business time so we’ll out and do it again against the Dutch.”
World Championship results fixtures in Belfast:
Sunday, April 23: Netherlands 1, Japan 6; GB 4, Croatia 2; 7.30pm Estonia v Lithuania.
Monday, April 24: Japan 4, Croatia 2; Lithuania 8, Netherlands 0; GB 5, Estonia 1.
Wednesday, April 26: Japan 6 Estonia 2; Netherlands 2, Croatia 6; GB 5, Lithuania 2.
Friday, April 28: 12.30pm Lithuania v Japan, 4pm Croatia v Estonia; 7.30pm.
Saturday, April 29: 12.30pm Lithuania v Croatia; 4pm Estonia v Netherlands; 7.30pm GB v Japan.