Great Britain have been relegated from the top level of the World Championship after a 5-2 defeat by the 12th seeds Norway in the O2 Arena in Prague.

Cole Shudra replaced Sam Jones in the line-up as GB went with 13 forwards and seven defencemen. Jackson Whistle started between the pipes with Ben Bowns as back-up.

GB lost Liam Kirk during the second period as the forward – who started the game despite suffering from a sickness bug – bravely returned in the third session, while Cam Critchlow also limped out with injury.

Norway lead by three at first intermission
GB had a chance inside the first minute as Robert Dowd cut inside from the right but saw his shot saved, before Cade Neilson just failed to connect to the rebound.

Norway went ahead when Max Krogdahl’s shot was tipped past Whistle by Markus Vikingstad (4:34) and it was 2-0 when GB coughed-up possession and Patrick Thoresen buried the puck from the right-circle (6:46).

Whistle denied Eskild Bakke Olsen from close-range, but he put away his own rebound to score Norway’s third (12:25).

Perlini powerplay goal gives GB hope
Michael Brandsegg-Nygard made it 4-0 on the powerplay from the left-circle (21:18), before Dowd fed Brett Perlini on the doorstep – also on the man advantage – as GB reduced the deficit (24:56).

Sam Ruopp fired over the bar on a short spell of four-on-four and Mark Richardson shot wide late in the period as GB pushed for a way back into the game.

Norway see out the game to send GB down 
Dowd and Perlini went close in quick succession early in the third period, but Norway scored their fifth as they won a battle in-front of the net and Olsen Bakke scored from close-range (44:36).

Evan Mosey and Ben Lake combined and the puck came off the left boards to send Ollie Betteridge clear who produced a neat backhand finish on the breakaway (47:25).

GB pushed hard to set-up a dramatic finish with chances for Dowd and Perlini, but a sixth defeat mean GB return to Division I Group A next season.

We had a tough start but stuck with it. We had chances but couldn’t find a way to get it down.

Russell: Every player has done the country proud 
Head Coach, Pete Russell, said: “This team has emptied the bag for the whole tournament. We lost Kirky (Liam Kirk) as he was ill all night and we lost Cam Critchlow.

“This is the hardest tournament we’ve been too. We’ve come up against top-class players and I think every player has done the country proud. We’ve been facing the best teams in the world.

“We’ve been at the top level for four of the past five years and that’s an achievement. We desperately wanted to stay up but it wasn’t to be.

“Our players have given everything. That dressing room is so down now but it’s our job to get them back up again and come back for the final game against Austria.”

Tomorrow, GB play their final game of the tournament against Austria at 12:20 (11:20 UK time).

Great Britain World Championship schedule and results 
Saturday 11th May – Great Britain 2-4 Canada – Goals: Liam Kirk, Ben O’Connor
Sunday 12th May – Finland 8-0 Great Britain
Wednesday 15th May – Switzerland 3-0 Great Britain
Friday 17th May – Great Britain 3-4 Denmark – Goals: Liam Kirk, Cade Neilson, Nathanael Halbert
Saturday 18th May – Czechia 4-1 Great Britain – Goal: Evan Mosey
Monday 20th May – Great Britain 2-5 Norway – Goals: Brett Perlini, Ollie Betteridge
Tuesday 21st May – Austria v Great Britain – 12:20 (11:20 UK)