Great Britain’s U18 side finished their tournament in Romania in fourth place after a final day defeat to the hosts, going down 6-3 in Brasov.
Poland won the gold medal, Romania the silver and Lithuania the bronze. Croatia defeated Netherlands in the day’s middle game to send the Dutch down to Division 2B.
Britain’s chance of a medal depended on winning the game by at least two goals – however they were caught early by Romania when the hosts opened the scoring inside two minutes.
Romania enjoyed long spells of possession in the GB zone, giving goalie Jordan Lawday a lot of early work in the Great Britain net. Both sides had multiple powerplay chances without adding to the score until a big turning point inside the final minute of the period.
GB captain Sam Duggan made a hit at centre ice, the Romanian forward stayed down and the referee raised his arm to signal a penalty. To GB surprise and disappointment, the offical pointed Duggan to the dressing room, calling a 5+game for checking to the head.
The penalty left GB killing a long five on three at the start of period two, the Brits also without the services of Adam Finlinson who left the game with an upper body injury.
Britain killed the first penalty, but Romania took advantage on the major penalty with a goal at 22.22 from Gajdo after an earlier effort hit the pipes. With the penalty winding down, GB penalty killers had a fantastic shorthanded chance but Kelsall fired just over.
Seconds later Romania went down the other end and made it 3-0 through Sandor. Straight from the re-start, GB still shorthanded, Matthew Headland skated straight on net and fired past Adorjan for a lifeline for Britain.
After the penalties expired, GB had their own powerplay and made it count as Headland bagged his second special teams goal to finish a flowing move – GB down just 2-3 with over 30 minutes left in the game.
The special teams continued for the rest of the period, with Romania taking control once again with a short-handed goal (33.28) and powerplay marker (38.51) for a 5-2 game at the second break.
Great Britain kept going in the final frame pressing till the very end. GB took two early penalties, but netted a second shorthanded goal of the night through Ben Edmonds at 44.55 pulling the deficit to two with 15 to play.
Chances came and went, GB outshooting Romania 15-10 in the period, but the hosts goalie Adorjan – who was later named best goalie of the tournament – was equal to the challenge.
Romania put the icing on the cake and set the party in motion within the Olympic Rink with Vasile’s goal at 55.11.
Chad Smith was named GB player of the game, while Sam Duggan was GB player of the tournament.
Head coach Martin Grubb said: “It was very disappointing to end the week without a medal. We had two opportunities to win the games against Lithuania and Romania, but didn’t perform when it mattered.
“At times we were also out battled and out fought by the other teams and that shouldn’t be happening to a Great Britain team.”