Great Britain have been relegated from the top level of the World Championship following a 5-3 defeat by Austria in their final game in Tampere.
Goals from Matthew Myers, Robert Dowd and Cade Neilson had given GB a 3-1 lead, but Austria hit back to ensure their survival.
Captain Jonathan Phillips made his 111th appearance – moving ahead of Ashley Tait – to become the most-capped player in GB history.
Defenceman Mark Richardson became the fifth player to reach 100 caps, joining Phillips, Tait, Myers and David Longstaff to hit the century milestone.
Myers powerplay goal gives GB first-period lead
GB had the better of the chances in the opening period as Neilson went close with a redirect on the powerplay, while Dowd, Scott Conway, Brett Perlini and Richardson also went close.
A GB powerplay goal separated the two sides at the first intermission as Richardson’s shot was touched by Neilson and Perlini, before the rebound fell to Myers who swept home his 22nd international goal from close range (19:00).
Dowd puts GB 2-0 up at second intermission
Dowd made it 2-0 at 21:57 when he redirected Neilson’s pass into the net with his skate – the goal given after a video review.
Evan Mosey, Myers and Conway were denied on the breakaway while at the other end, Ben Bowns made a good stop from Marco Kasper’s shot.
Austria fight back to relegate GB
The third period burst into life with three goals in two-and-a-half minutes, as Austria closed the gap on the powerplay when Peter Schneider fed Ali Wukovits for a one-timer from the top of the right circle (44:51).
Neilson stole the puck in the neutral zone to break free and fire past Bernhard Starkbaum (46:19), before Dominique Heinrich’s shot took a deflection past Bowns to reduce the arrears again (47:28).
Austria equalised following a turnover behind the net and Benjamin Nissner was credited with the goal after a goalmouth scramble (51:26).
Thomas Raffl scored on the rebound to put Austria ahead for the first time (58:54), before Peter Schneider’s empty-net goal sealed GB’s fate (59:16).
Russell: One of the best tournaments we’ve played as a team
Head Coach, Pete Russell, said: “I think we did enough to win the game. I thought we were in control most of the time.
“One any other day in this tournament we could have won three games. It’s never been like that this before.
“It’s tough for the boys and I think overall that’s one of the best tournaments we played as a team.
“I know there were a lot of pieces missing but these boys put unbelievable performances in and stuck together as a team.”
Great Britain World Championship schedule and results
Saturday 14th May 2022 – Czechia 5-1 Great Britain – Goal: Ben Lake
Sunday 15th May 2022 – Norway 4-3 Great Britain (after penalty shots) – Goals: Robert Dowd, Brett Perlini, Mark Richardson
Tuesday 17th May 2022 – Sweden 6-0 Great Britain
Thursday 19th May 2022 – Great Britain 0-3 USA
Friday 20th May 2022 – Great Britain 0-6 Finland
Sunday 22nd May 2022 – Great Britain 3-4 Latvia – Goals: Brett Perlini, Cade Neilson, Lewis Hook
Monday 23rd May 2022 – Austria 5-3 Great Britain – Goals: Matthew Myers, Robert Dowd, Cade Neilson
Photo credit: Dean Woolley.