Great Britain suffered late heartbreak for the second year in a row as they were beaten 2-1 by Ukraine in their final game at the World Championship (Division 1B) in Zagreb.
GB needed a point for the gold medal and to secure promotion, but Olexander Pobyedonostsev’s goal with four minutes remaining saw GB miss out – just as they did in Eindhoven one year ago.
Ashley Tait had two great chances on the doorstep inside the first 30 seconds, but was twice denied by netminder Eduard Zakharchenko.
GB outshot Ukraine 15-3 in the first period, but they had to wait until early in the second session to take the lead through Jonathan Phillips.
There were no further goals in the second period, but Ben Bowns had to be at his best to keep out a couple of chances for Yevgen Tymchenko.
Ukraine made the start they needed to the third period as Dmytro Chernyshenko tied the game up with a low finish on the doorstep after 44 minutes.
A great feed from behind the net by Ross Venus set up Russell Cowley, but he was superbly denied from close range by Zakharchenko.
GB fell behind for the first time in the tournament when Pobyedonostsev scored late on to seal the victory.
Head Coach Pete Russell said: “I don’t know what to say, I am just stunned. It is like last year all over again and I just can’t put it into words.
“We gave it everything we had and I really am proud of everyone. We were fantastic all week but we just couldn’t get over the line.
“This is a horrible feeling.”
(Image permission: IceHockeyMedia)