Head coach Martin Grubb says Great Britain Under-20s will grow from their experiences at last week’s IIHF U20 World Championship Division II Group A in Brasov.
GB return to the UK today with the bronze medal after two wins from their five matches.
After convincing victories over Spain (7-2) and Lithuania (5-3), GB were beaten 5-4 by Korea after penalty shots.
A surprise 4-3 defeat by hosts Romania – who were relegated on the final day – was followed by a narrow defeat at the hands of promoted Italy yesterday.
Grubb said: “We only had two guys on our team who had experienced winning a medal and four who had played at a World Championship before.
“Add in the pandemic and even the uncertainty about travelling to Romania, we at least were able to win a medal.
“Although we are disappointed at the colour, the players will learn and grow from this experience.
“Thank you on behalf of us all for all the support from back home, it was much appreciated.”
GB took the lead against Italy through Jack Hopkins while Logan Neilson was also on target as he scored his sixth goal of the tournament, but GB were eventually beaten 3-2 in their final game.
“With Korea winning earlier in the day, we knew that we couldn’t finish any higher than third and obviously that wasn’t what we came for,” said Grubb.
“We knew we had to try and finish on a positive note. We asked the players to ensure we played with pride and heart for themselves, their families back home and their country.
“They deserve credit for the way they performed against a good Italian team.”