Great Britain took a point against Denmark with another superb performance, but they were narrowly beaten 3-2 in overtime in Group A of the World Championship in Latvia.
Ben O’Connor scored his 18th international goal and Mike Hammond was also on target, scoring late to take the game to the extra period.
Captain Jonathan Phillips became the third player in history to reach 100 GB caps after Ashley Tait and David Longstaff, while Sam Jones and Ciaran Long made their debuts.
Denmark hit back after O’Connor opener
GB went ahead at 2:33 as O’Connor’s perfect wrist shot went in off the bar, with assists going to David Phillips and Robert Dowd.
Denmark came back strong and hit the bar before Julian Jakobsen scored on his backhand from close range at 10:19, while Nicklas Jensen put the Danes ahead with a low drive through traffic on the powerplay (13:44).
No goals in tight second period
A good spell of GB possession early in the second period resulted in Brendan Connolly seeing his shot well saved by Sebastian Dahm.
Connolly teed-up a chance for Robert Dowd and Liam Kirk’s effort from the slot was saved after great work by Brett Perlini while at the other end, Ben Bowns turned away six shots.
GB score late before Denmark win in overtime
GB had the better chances in the third period with the standout one being Perlini going close on the doorstep.
And it was no surprise when Great Britain equalised at 56:18 as Hammond jumped onto Ben Lake’s perfect pass to slot low through the five-hole.
Bowns made a superb save from Matias Lassen’s close-range shot to deny Denmark in the closing stages of the third period.
Britain took two successive penalties in overtime and Denmark scored on the second of those powerplays, as Nicklas Jensen fired home top shelf from the slot (64:35).
Co-coach, Corey Neilson, said: “It was another great performance and it just shows how far we have come in recent years.
“Yes, we have come off the ice disappointed that we didn’t win but we have so many reasons to be proud of that display.
“We ran a fantastic side very close and our guys just threw their bodies on the line time and time again.
“The boys now need some rest ahead of Belarus, who will bring difference challenges but we are excited to compete against them.”
GB face Belarus at 6:15pm UK time tomorrow.
IIHF 2021 World Championship – GB results and fixtures
Saturday 22nd May – Great Britain 1-7 Russia – Goal: Liam Kirk
Sunday 23rd May – Great Britain 1-2 Slovakia – Goal: Liam Kirk
Tuesday 25th May – Great Britain 2-3 Denmark (overtime) – Goals: Ben O’Connor, Mike Hammond
Wednesday 26th May – Belarus v Great Britain – 20:15 face-off (18:15 UK time)
Friday 28th May – Sweden v Great Britain – 16:15 face-off (14:15 UK time)
Saturday 29th May – Czech Republic v Great Britain – 12:15 face-off (10:15 UK time)
Tuesday 1st June – Switzerland v Great Britain – 12:15 face-off (10:15 UK time)
Photo credit: Dean Woolley.