Great Britain U20 miss out on promotion as Japan claim top spot

Great Britain U20 missed out on promotion following a 5-2 defeat by Japan in the World Championship (Division 2A) tournament in Dumfries on Saturday.

Masato Kume and Daiki Miura gave Japan a 2-0 lead at the first break, GB came out hard in period two as Cole Shudra and Jordan Buesa went close on the same shift.

Liam Kirk, who took his tournament tally to seven goals, closed the gap for GB when he fired top shelf through traffic on a five-on-three powerplay after 29 minutes.

Jordan Lawday pulled off a magnificent point-bank save from Hiroya Tokuda on the powerplay to keep the deficit at one at the end of the second session.

Japan took a two-goal lead again when Hayato Aiki bundled in a rebound on the doorstep in the 42nd minute and made it 4-1 with Miura’s shot through traffic on the powerplay midway through the final session.

GB head coach Slava Koulikov took his timeout in the 55th minute and lifted netminder Lawday for the extra skater and it paid dividends within 15 seconds as Shudra netted on the rebound.

Despite a further three minutes of constant pressure GB were unable to find a way past Eiki Sato, and Junki Shinoda wrapped the game up into the empty net in the final minute.

Josh Tetlow was named as GB’s man of the match, while Sam Duggan was awarded Britain’s player of the tournament.