Assistant coach Tommy Watkins says defeat by Ukraine in their final game at the World Championship (Division 1B) in Zagreb is “too painful for words” as Great Britain just missed out on a gold medal for a second successive year.
After four successive wins in the tournament, GB were left with the same scenario as 12 months ago in Eindhoven, needing a point to secure promotion to Division 1A.
But they were beaten 2-1 by Ukraine with the winning goal coming with less than four minutes left on the clock.
It means that either Ukraine or Lithuania will go up with the gold medal.
“Everyone is hurting so badly right now,” said Watkins. “I cannot describe the feeling.
“The whole squad has worked so hard for this moment to go our way, but we just could not see it through.
“There is nothing to say really which can make it any better.
“This group gave everything they had but, in the end, we came up a little short.
“We will just have to regroup and plan for next year’s tournament.
“This is a great squad and the potential is there for us to be a success.”
Captain Jonathan Phillips says he is “too stunned for words” to sum up the feeling after Saturday’s result.
Phillips, who was named as the GB Supporters’ Club Player of the Tournament, said: “I can’t really put into words how I feel now.
“We are just devastated to come so close for a second time.
“The guys gave it everything we had but we could just not get over the line.
“It was our goal from day one to win a gold medal.
“We played well today for the majority of the game and we out-skated them.
“Maybe in that last period we sat back a little too much.”