SHEFFIELD ace Colin Shields scored but missed a penalty shot as Great Britain picked up a point in their opening game at the Olympic pre-qualifiers in Japan - a penalty-shot defeat by Korea.
Three times the plucky Koreans clawed back in the game from 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 down to win the game 5-4 after a dramatic shoot-out.
GB had taken the lead at 3:34 through Craig Peacock and ex Sheffield wing David Longstaff made it 2-0 at 4:28 on the powerplay.
Won Jung Kim pulled a goal back for Korea 57 seconds later, but Ben O’Connor’s goal (17:28) ensured GB led 3-1 at the first interval.
Won Jung Kim netted his and Korea’s second at 22:27, before Colin Shields (30:09) restored GB’s two-goal advantage.
But Korea hit back and scored either side of the second interval. Won Jung Kim completed his hat-trick at 38:45 and Geunho Kim leveled the game up at 46:07.
The pulsating game weent to penalty shots but Steelers’ Scottish born forward Shields and Longstaff missed for Great Britain, with Sang Wook Kim and Min Ho Cho successful for Korea.
Head coach, Tony Hand, said: “We started brilliantly and got a great start with some great goals. Korea never gave up and are very dangerous team. I thought we took it to them in the third period and were unlucky not to score.
“They guys played their hearts out and everyone back home should be very proud of them. We had great chances to win it in overtime but it was not to be. I am very proud of them and we are still very much alive in this tournament.”
Great Britain play their second game on Saturday against Romania (5am UK time). Victory for GB and a win for hosts Japan against Korea in Saturday’s other game would mean a winners-takes-all clash between GB and Japan on Sunday.
The winners of that game would go through to final qualifying in Germany in February for the 2104 Olympic Games in Sochi.
*Read an interesting angle on Shield’s form in Saturday’s Star.