Great Britain Under-18 Women began the Four Nations Women’s U18 International Tournament in Granada with a hard-fought 4-1 defeat by Hungary Under-18 Women.
Three powerplay goals proved decisive for Hungary but GB will be buoyed by their performance, especially in the opening two periods.
GB, who play in the tier below Hungary in the Under-18 Women’s World Championship structure, took the lead on the powerplay when Emily Harris tipped in Chloe Riley’s shot from right point (8:10).
But Hungary were ahead by end of the first period thanks to two powerplay goals of their own, as first Imola Horvath reacted first to a goalmouth scramble (11:49) and then Dora Szick fired past Ella Howard from the left wing (18:52).
After a scoreless second session, Szick scored her second on the doorstep 24 seconds into the third period (40:24) after a great break into the offensive zone by Horvath to extend Hungary’s lead.
Noemi Puskas scored a powerplay goal on the doorstep at 50:25 to wrap the game up for Hungary.
Coach, Cheryl Smith, said: “I thought the girls were fantastic this afternoon. Their attitude, work rate and passion was spot-on.
“We lost 10-0 in the corresponding game last season, so you can see how much we have progressed.
“We had a lot of young players out there, most of them aged between 13 and 15 and this shows the future is bright for GB.
“There were another 10 players who made their international debuts out there this afternoon.
“We conceded three powerplay goals but I thought five-on-five we often matched them.
“Defeat, of course, is disappointing but there are plenty of positives to take from the game.”
Lucy Beal was named as GB’s player of the game.
GB’s second game of the tournament is tomorrow (Saturday) when they take on Poland Under-18 Women at 4pm (3pm UK time).