It was the perfect start for Ireland in the IIHF World Championship in South Africa, after they secured a 6-3 victory against Greece, leaving The Boys in Green top of the Championship table at the end of day one.
Gareth Roberts got Ireland on the scoreboard within thirty seconds on the ice, although this was equalised by a powerplay goal from the Greeks.
A number of chances followed by both sides, but none of them were converted until over the half-way mark in the second period.
A goal shot from the point by Timothy (Ross) O’Driscoll gave Ireland a 2-1 lead, but the Greeks later equalised the score minutes before the period ended.
The Fighting Irish spirit came out in the squad during the third period, with the Boys in Green shutting down the Greek side and scoring four goals.
Steven Adams slotted a goal into the Greek net eight seconds into the third period.
The Irish bench erupted with joy when Conor Redmond scored his first international goal at senior level. Redmond, whose goal was unassisted, played with the U18’s Men’s Irish National Team at the U18 World Championship just a few weeks ago in Turkey and has proved to be a star in the making, with his sheer determination and dedication to the sport.
Gareth Roberts followed suit, giving the Irish a 5-2 lead, which was answered by a Greek goal to make the scoring 5-3.
Sean Dooley suffered a misconduct penalty, but will be able to play in tomorrow night’s clash against South Africa.
Just when it looked like the game was over, Conor Redmond surprised the entire arena when he shot home his second goal of the game, giving the Irish team a comfortable 6-3 victory.
Scott Bickerstaff scooped Ireland’s Best Player of the Game, having saved a whopping thirty-eight shots.
It was a perfect and positive start to the tournament for Team Ireland and it continues tomorrow night.
The Boys in Green will face-off against host South Africa at 7pm Irish time.
A live stream of the match is available at
Return to www.IIHA.org tomorrow morning, when Coach Kenny Redmond gives his reaction to today’s victorious opening game.
Scores and statistics from the Championship can be found at http://www.iihf.com/competition/348/statistics.html