Team spirit key to our success, says Great Britain's Clarke
David Clarke says team spirit was the key to Great Britain's ice hockey team winning their first promotion to the World Championship Division 1 Group A since 1993.
Forward Clarke helped Great Britain secure a 4-0 victory over Japan on the final day of the Group B tournament at Belfast's SSE Arena, on Saturday.
A brace from Matthew Myers, as well as goals from Robert Dowd and Brendan Brooks, secured a convincing win against the number-one seeds.
And Clarke believes the unity shown by the British team was a key factor in their success in the championship.
"The Great Britain team spirit is always fantastic, but this year has been something else," said Clarke.
"We all get on so well together and love each other's company.
"We go out there and give everything we have for each other and it is so special to be a part of.
"We played so well today and took it to Japan from the off. It was five brilliant performances this week and we just kept on going.
"This is a moment to cherish and one I will remember for a long time. It is one of the best moments of my career."
Netminder Ben Bowns, who was impressive in securing a 20-shot shutout, added that he was bursting with pride to achieve the team's first promotion in 24 years, on home ice.
"It is an amazing moment to win gold and I am proud of everyone," said Bowns.
"We have had such a great week and to win the gold on home ice is magical. It is a moment that will live with us all for a long, long time.
"We played one of the best games of our careers out there and Japan could not cope with us.
"After the disappointment of two silver medals, we were not going to let it happen a third time.
"It is fantastic to achieve this with such an amazing group of players."