Great Britain U20 began their World Championship (Division 2A) campaign with a 6-4 defeat against Lithuania in Tallinn.
GB out-shot Lithuania 54-19 but came up against an inspired performance by netminder Laurynas Lubys.
Lithuania scored four times in the opening period to take control of the game – Martynas Grinius (2), Lukas Washco’s and Patrik Misiuk got the goals.
Josh Waller and Jordan Buesa hit back for GB in the middle session, but Washco scored his second of the night after 38 minutes to settle Lithuania’s nerves.
Cade Neilson reduced the deficit to two in the final period, but Washco’s hat-trick goal with five minutes to play ended any hopes of a comeback.
Harry Gulliver fired a fourth for GB two minutes from the end to make it 6-4.
Head coach, Slava Koulikov, said: “We gave ourselves a mountain to climb conceding those four goals in the first period.
“But I have to credit the players with the way they fought back for the rest of the game.
“We had nearly three times as many shots as Lithuania and on another day we would have won the game.
“There was a bit of controversy about their fifth goal which is disappointing, but we stuck at it and came close to a remarkable comeback.”
In Sunday’s other games, there was a 2-1 win for Estonia over Spain, while Romania secured a 2-1 overtime victory over Korea.
GB return to action on Monday when they face Korea (face off 2.30pm UK time – live on FreeSports).
(Image permission: David Strover)