Great Britain Under-20s take the bronze medal after they missed out on promotion following a final-day 5-2 defeat by Japan U20s in the Under-20 World Championship Division II Group A in Dumfries.
Japan’s victory secured them the gold and promotion to Division 1 Group B, while Korea claimed the silver medal with a 5-2 win over Romania earlier in the day.
After early GB pressure, Japan went ahead when Masato Kume slid the puck past Jordan Lawday on a rebound (4:22) and Daiki Miura scored at the backdoor at 8:49 after constant pressure on the powerplay.
Sam Duggan was denied from point-blank range after Liam Kirk broke right-hand side moments after coming out of the penalty box.
Japan led 2-0 at the first interval but GB came out hard in period two as Cole Shudra and Jordan Buesa went close on the same shift.
Kirk, who took his tournament tally to seven goals, closed the gap for GB when he fired top shelf through traffic on a five-on-three powerplay (29:21).
Jordan Lawday pulled off a magnificent point-bank save from Hiroya Tokuda on the powerplay to keep the deficit at one at the end of the second session.
But Japan took a two-goal lead again when Hayato Aiki bundled in a rebound on the doorstep at 42:33 and made it 4-1 with Daiki Miura’s shot through traffic on the powerplay (51:09).
GB head coach Slava Koulikov took his timeout at 55:22 and lifted netminder Lawday for the extra skater and it paid dividends within 15 seconds as Shudra netted on the rebound (55:37).
Despite a further three minutes of constant pressure GB were unable to find a way past Eiki Sato, and Junki Shinoda wrapped the game up into the empty net (59:03).
Josh Tetlow was named as GB’s man of the match, while Duggan was awarded Britain’s player of the tournament and Kirk was named the tournament’s best forward.
Photo credit: Duncan Speirs.