GREAT BRITAIN suffered a sixth straight defeat at the World Championships leaving them hoping their final game against France will give them a chance to clinch survival.
Pete Russell's team were left searching for their first points still after a 7-1 defeat to hosts Slovakia in front of a packed Steel Arena in Kosice on Saturday night.
The likelihood is that their Monday afternoon encounter with France will determine who survives and who returns to Division 1A. That is unless France upset the odds in a major way on Sunday and defeat fifth seeds Finland by winning in regulation. Any other outcome in that game means there will still be everything for GB to play for 24 hours later.
It is a scenario long expected by those connected with the GB, team, including defenceman, Evan Mosey.
“Every game is like a stepping stone,” said Mosey. “I think the last game against France is pretty much what we came here for. We're basing the entire tournament on winning that one to stay up. We have to keep the pressure on and keep doing things to improve for that last game.
“The more the tournament goes on, the more comfortable the guys are playing with each other. We don't really get a national team break during the season, so we had only a couple of weeks here to practise with new guys.
"It's nice that the last game of the tournament will mean the most. It's do or die.”
In front of a packed Steel Arena, GB got off to the worse possible start as they found themselves 2-0 down inside the first three minutes through goals within 21 sedconds of each other from Andrej Sekera and Tomas Tatar.
Russell's players then settled, but found it hard to create much clear offence, with Martin Marincin's power play strike from the blueline making it 3-0 at 9.02, with head coach Pete Russell replacing Ben Bowns with Sheffield Steelers' netminder Jackson Whistle.
GB gave themselves a lifeline soon after Whistle's arrival, when Mike Hammond pounced on a loose puck behind the net after good forechecking from Luke Ferrara to cleverly poke the puck through goalie Denis Godla's legs.
That hope, though, was snatched away just over four minutes into the second period when Michl Cajkovsky's effort from deep flew past Whistle. It got worse five minutes later when Marian Studenic made it 5-1 with a sixth goal arriving at 35.11 through Matus Sukel.
In the third, Whistle denied Ladislav Nagy with a great pad save from close range as Slovakia continued to pile on the pressure, before David Bondra completed the scoring 58.00.
Whistle, who played over 44 minutes after replacing Bowns, said: "It was good to get some ice-time. We came up against another top-quality side but credit to the boys they kept on going - and I felt we got better as the game went on and we finished strong.
"Despite not getting a win there is great belief in our room and we know we have been close in some games to picking up a result."