Great Britain Under 18’s opened their World Championship campaign in Hungary with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of top seeds Slovenia on Sunday afternoon.
Great Britain started the stronger of the two teams, but found themselves a goal down midway through the opening period. With Jordan Griffin sitting a 2 minute tripping penalty, Miha Krmelj shot past William Kerlin in the GB Goal (10.26).
Early in the middle period GB lost Jacob Lutwyche on a 2+10 penalty for a check from behind. Shortly after the penalty kill was over GB drew the game level thanks to Alex Graham (28.55).
Both teams traded penalties during the 2nd period, but at the break the game was tied at 1-1.
Early in the final period Slovenia’s Nik Sirovnik picked up a 2+10 penalty for Boarding, as both teams continued to keep their respective penalty boxes busy.
On 48.10 the deadlock was broken as Miha Krmelj netted his second of the night to give Slovenia a slim 2-1 lead.
With Slovenia’s Bine Masic sitting a 2 minute High Sticking penalty on 52.05 the GB Powerplay unit leveled the game. On 53.10 Joe Hazeldine found Edward Bradley at the backpost to fire past Val Usnik to tie the game at 2-2.
With both teams now having chances the game looked to be heading to Overtime as both netminders were stopping everything being shot at them.
Slovenia netted the game winner on 57.59 thanks to Luka Vodlan, assisted by Mark Sojer.
Great Britain pulled Kerlin for the final minute but they couldn;t make the extra skater count and on the buzzer it was Slovenia who claimed the 3 points.
GB U18s head coach, Martin Grubb, said: “I thought we played really well today against the top-seeded team who had just came down from 1A.
“We dominated the game for long spells. We are obviously disappointed to lose the game and it shows that you get punished for making little mistakes at this level – and we need to make sure we learn from that.
“We proved we can compete in this division and we will regroup and take the positives from the game – and be ready to bring the same level of performance tomorrow against Japan.”
Great Britain face Japan, who defeated Italy 3-2 today, at 11.30am on Monday.