Great Britain Under-18s were beaten 5-3 by Japan Under-18s in their second game at the U18 World Championship Division I Group B in Hungary.
Despite a third-period comeback, GB were left to rue penalty trouble in the opening two sessions with three of Japan’s five goals coming on the powerplay.
Japan take two-goal lead
Japan opened the scoring on a five-on-three powerplay through Teruto Nakajima’s one-timer at the backdoor (10:03).
Sam Talbot had a chance short-handed for GB and then Mason Alderson was denied from a penalty shot as Toshiki Nakamura produced a fine save.
Japan’s second also came courtesy of a two-man advantage as Naoki Sato set up Rioto Takeya who found room in the slot to score at 18:07.
GB on the board but Japan stay in control
Britain were back in the game early in the second session when Joe Hazeldine sent Alderson free on a short-handed breakaway and his neat finish reduced the deficit to one (24:01).
Japan’s third goal came again on the powerplay as Yusaku Ando fired a one-timer past Will Kerlin from close range at the backdoor at 30:47.
GB were dealt a massive blow inside the final second of the second period when Ando broke into the zone, cut inside and fired top shelf for his second goal of the game.
Fightback proves in vain
Britain scored on a five-on-three powerplay as Kieran Brown’s shot was tipped in by Sam Talbot (46:39) and then 16-year-old Alex Graham reacted first to a loose puck for his second goal of the tournament (48:26).
GB lifted netminder Will Kerlin in favour of the extra skater and had some late pressure, but Japan wrapped the game up with Daisuke Miyata scoring into an empty net (59:20).
Head coach, Martin Grubb, said: “Today was disappointing but ultimately you can’t win games when you take as many penalties as we did.
“We made too many mistakes and for two periods we didn’t play as we did yesterday.
“We tried to make a few changes at the end of the second and we came out with more jump and showed good character to get ourselves back within one.
“But we need to make sure we give ourselves a chance from the beginning of every game rather than chasing games.
“Tomorrow is a rest day and we will regroup and be ready to go again against Hungary.”
There are no games in the tournament tomorrow but GB return to action on Wednesday when they face hosts Hungary at 6:30pm UK time.
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