Great Britain Under-18s produced a performance to be proud of but they were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Slovenia Under-18s in their opening game at the U18 World Championship Division I Group B in Hungary.
GB outshot the number-one seeds 30-17 and came so close to causing an upset against a side who were relegated from the second tier last season.
Miha Krmelj put Slovenia ahead just past the midway point of the first period on the powerplay (10:26), but GB could not find a way past Val Usnik despite putting 14 shots on goal.
Britain got the equaliser they deserved when 16-year-old Alex Graham scored his first goal for his country on his debut (28:55) to ensure the game was tied at the second intermission.
Krmelj scored his second at 48:10 before GB hit back again through defenceman Ed Bradley just over a minute into a powerplay (53:10).
Slovenia won the game with a little over two minutes remaining with Luka Vodlan netting at 57:59.
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.”
GB’s second game of the tournament tomorrow against Japan gets under way at 11:30am UK time.
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