Great Britain secured their top-flight status with a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory over France in their final game at the World Championship in Kosice on Monday.
GB came from 3-0 down to level the game with goals from Robert Dowd, Mike Hammond and Robert Farmer, before Ben Davies scored the winning goal in the 62nd minute to leave France stunned.
Goals in the middle session by Anthony Rech (2) and Florian Chakiachvili left GB needing a miracle to avoid relegation, but they produced an amazing comeback to send their travelling fans into raptures.
Dowd and Hammond brought Britain to within one goal by the second buzzer and they hauled themselves level as Farmer fired home in the 45th minute.
The game went to overtime and Jonathan Phillips used all his strength on the breakaway to get the puck to Davies, who produced a fantastic backhand finish to secure the victory.
Head coach, Pete Russell, said: “This is massive moment for the team and a massive moment for the UK game.
“At 3-0 we did not panic. I looked at the guys in the time-out and I knew which team was winning this game. They knew they could still do it.
“What they have just achieved is the biggest thing in their career. They drew strength from what they did in Hungary a year ago.
“They had the belief that they could win this game and I am so proud of every single one of them.”
Davies added: “That was unreal. I can’t quite take it all in. I am almost lost for words.
“We just don’t know when we are beaten. This just underlines what GB is all about.
“We always knew we had a chance and even at 3-0 we looked at each other and said ‘this isn’t over yet’.
“Everyone played their part tonight. It was something very, very special to be involved in.
“It was an unreal pass from Jono. I am not sure what made me go to by backhand, but I am glad I did.
“It really is a magical feeling and to share it with this group of guys is amazing.”
(Image permission: Dean Woolley)