Great Britain Men’s Under 20s coach Slava Koulikov was pleased at the fight back shown from his players despite going down 6-4 to Lithuania in their opening Division 2 Group A match.
Four goals lost in the first period and an inspired performance by Lithuanian goalie Laurynas Lubys played a big part as GB outshot their opponents by three-to-one in an interesting encounter.
And Koulikov was focussing on the positives and was left to rue what might have been had certain things gone their way.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb conceding those four goals in the first period,” he said. “But I have to credit the players with the way they fought back for the rest of the game.
“We had nearly three times as many shots as Lithuania and on another day we would have won the game.
“There was a bit of controversy about their fifth goal which is disappointing, but we stuck at it and came close to a remarkable comeback.”
Lithuania scored two powerplay goals in the opening four minutes to take an early control of the game as Lukas Washco’s one-timer then Martynas Grinius’ quick reactions giving them the edge.
WATCH: Catch the full game between Great Britain and Lithuania from Tallinn
Grinius scored a second from close range a few minutes later, followed by Patrik Misiuk cut inside from the right-hand side and fired into the top shelf with three minutes to go in the first.
Jordan McLaughlin came in for Will Kerlin in the GB goal at the start of the second period and soon, GB found themselves on the scoresheet just before the half hour mark.
Liam Kirk set up Josh Waller who finished neatly from the slot and this was followed by a Jordan Buesa shot that went low past Lubys on the powerplay.
Lithuania’s fifth was a controversial one as Washco scored his second of the night into an unguarded net as it appeared McLaughlin had been impeded.
Cade Neilson buried the puck top shelf to reduce the deficit to two five minutes into the third period, but Washco completed his hat-trick on a short-handed breakaway at 55:06.
Koulikov had called a timeout in an attempt to try and swing the momentum back in GB’s direction and while Harry Gulliver fired through traffic for GB’s fourth, it wasn’t enough as Lithuania took the result.
EARLIER IN THE DAY
Romania and South Korea met in the tournament’s opening game to start the week’s proceedings off and it was the Romanians who took a 2-1 victory in overtime.
The Koreans were a goal up in the first period through Junkyung Yang, but that was cancelled out by Elod Marton Karda during the second.
Andrei Filip was the hero in the end, scoring the winner in the extra period to give Romania two points in an opening victory.
Hosts Estonia also got off a winning start, taking all three points as they defeated Spain in a 2-1 victory.
The Estonians took the lead through Morten Arantez Jurgens in the first, but Dorian Donath levelled for the Spaniards early in the second.
Estonia got their second and what proved to be the winner through Kirill Lodeikin to set them up for Monday’s game with Lithuania.
MONDAY’S FIXTURES (FACE OFF TIMES ARE UK TIME):
Romania vs Spain (11am)
Korea vs Great Britain (2.30pm)
Lithuania vs Estonia (6pm)