Great Britain were beaten 3-1 by Italy in Milton Keynes in the first of four international games in the UK ahead of the IIHF World Championship in Finland.

Ben Bowns was given the start in goal, while Joe Hazeldine, Cade Neilson and Josh Waller made their first GB appearances.

The first period was lacking in clear-cut chances and it was the Italians who took the lead when Marco Magnabosco finished off a well-worked move from the slot (15:42).

GB’s best chance came from a drive to the net by Ben Lake, while Ross Venus and Jonathan Phillips also went close.

It was a 1-1 game as Jonathan Phillips and David Clements combined to set-up Ross Venus to score from a tight angle at close range on the powerplay (26:02).

But Italy hit back 83 seconds later when Alex Trivellato scored from the blueline through traffic, also with the man advantage (27:25).

Dante Honnaun scored a superb third for Italy, finding space in the right circle and rifling a shot past Bowns (53:23).

A double-headed weekend against Denmark now follows for GB with the two sides playing in Coventry on Saturday 7th May and also in Nottingham on Sunday 8th May, before GB and Italy meet again at the Skydome on Tuesday 10th May.

GB will then depart on Wednesday to Finland to their base in Tampere ahead of the World Championship.

Photo Credit: Tony Sargent.