A little bit of sporting history is within reach for Belfast Giants forward Colin Shields, after he scored his 38th international goal for Team GB on Wednesday night.

Shields netted the opener as GB powered to a 5-2 win over Lithuania, making it three wins out of three in the IIHF World Championships at the SSE Arena.

Pete Russell’s team are hoping for a chance to win gold and earn promotion to Division 1A.

For Shields, that is all that matters and he has said he is not interested in personal records this week.

However, the statisticians and fans like to keep one eye on the potential milestones and are well aware the Scottish-born player who now calls Belfast home is just two goals off the GB record.

The goal that took Colin Shields to within two of Tony Hand's record. Credit: Dean Woolley

Former Giants player-coach and legend of the game Tony Hand racked up 40 goals during his international career to still hold the title of GB’s all-time leading scorer.

Shields has already picked up his 80th international cap in the first game of this week’s tournament.

He was only the sixth player to do so, although he was joined just days later by the 7th and 8th players in captain Jonathan Phillips and Matthew Myers.

Speaking about the potential goal milestone, Shields said: “It came to light last year that I was getting close, but the biggest thing this week is getting the points for the team and keeping the wins coming.

“We do that and we set up the gold medal game we want on Saturday.”

Team GB, who have already taken wins against Croatia (4-2), Estonia (5-1) and Lithuania (5-2), are next in action against the Netherlands on Friday night at 7.30pm.

They will be hoping to put in another strong performance against the struggling Dutch side who have been beaten in all three of their games so far, scoring just three goals and conceding 20.

Shields reflected on GB’s most recent win over Lithuania on Wednesday night, hailing it as his side’s “most complete performance”.

He added: “We had bit of lapse in the second, but they stepped it up and brought some pressure which we responded to - we had a really good third and shut them down.

“They played a physical game, but we’re used to that with the style of hockey we play in the league here.”

Only one of the six competing teams can be promoted out of Division 1B and up to 1A, while the side which ends the tournament at the bottom of the table will be relegated down to Division 2A.