Great Britain U18 Women were beaten 4-1 by China U18 Women in their fourth game at the Under-18 Women’s World Championship Division 1 Group B in Katowice, Poland.
Britain paid the price for missed chances in the second period as China scored three third-period goals to secure their first victory of the tournament.
China had the better of the first period, helped by two successive powerplays, and Gilbert had to be sharp to deny captain Pi Yunlin who skated coast-to-coast, while GB netminder Maisie Gilbert produced an excellent pad save to turn away a shot by Huang Yan.
GB’s first-period quality scoring chances were limited but Sophie Campbell shot wide after jumping onto a mistake in the China defence, while Amy Trueman went close on the powerplay.
China took the lead just as the first intermission approached when Liao Zifei bundled in a rebound on the doorstep (19:22).
GB dominated the second period, outshooting China 10-6, with Verity Lewis, Charlotte Harris and Lucy Beal all forcing good saves from Jiang Han in the China goal, who turned away 22 of the 23 shots she faced throughout the game.
At the other end, Gilbert had to be alert to produce a fantastic save to deny Pi Yunlin from close range.
But Pi Yunlin scored twice in 64 seconds in the third period to swing the game in China’s favour just as GB looked like getting back on level terms.
The Chinese captain first scored a great individual goal on the powerplay as she waltzed into the offensive zone and skated left to right to fire past Gilbert (49:42), before reacting first to a goalmouth scramble (50:46).
Song Xinlin burst in between two GB defenders to to score China’s fourth at 56:57.
GB netted a consolation goal 78 seconds later when Megan Gourlay won the puck in the neutral zone and scored with a shot from the right circle (58:15).
Emily Harris was named as GB’s player of the game.
Assistant coach, James Ashton, said: “It was a strange game. After a slow start, we had a fantastic second period which we dominated, but failed to take a lot of chances.
“China scored two quick goals in the third period and sadly it was game over, but we did not let our heads drop.
“It was good to see the girls battle to the end and they deserved that late goal.”
GB play the final game tomorrow when they take on hosts Poland at 8pm (7pm UK time).