Great Britain came within a goal of winning gold and promotion in the World Championships (Div 1B) in Eindhoven.
The silver medalists were beaten 3-2 by Lithuania. Korea won the tournament.
Peter Russell’s side, who had earlier won all four games, had needed just a point. And they scored when Belfast centre Mark Garside, was set up by Sheffield’s Mark Thomas, who has yet to determine whether he’ll be playing for Steelers next year. Robert Lachowicz and Steeler Ben O’Connor hit the post. But Lithuania scored through 19-year-old, Danielius Nomanovas. Then at 37-;45 the Baltics profited on a 5-on-3 power play, D-man Nerijus Alisauskas netting. Russell Cowley dragged GB back with a tip from Jonathan Weaver’s shot. With seven minutes remaining, Paulius Gubtautas grabbed the winner.
Coach Russell said: “I am so proud of them right now. This is hurting so much but we should hold our heads up high.
“They were shattered out there but they gave it their all and they played with pride and passion all week.
“We just came up a little short but they deserve so much credit for the week they had.
“I guess it just wasn’t meant to be, it was one of those things.