Great Britain Women produced an impressive performance but were beaten 3-1 by Slovakia in the first of a two-game series this weekend.
Slovakia are ranked seven places higher than Britain in the IIHF world rankings, but GB were competitive throughout the game.
Lenka Curmova put the hosts ahead within the first three minutes, before Livia Kubekova made it 2-0 ten minutes later.
Jessica Urquhart made it a one-goal game as she netted for GB in the 18th minute, assisted by Mariah Spare and Millie Overton.
GB hit the post midway through the second period, before Tatiana Korenkova made it 3-1 to Slovakia after 38 minutes.
Britain pushed for a way back in the game and came close on a number of occasions but Slovakia held on.
Head Coach Cheryl Smith said: “We gave Slovakia a good game which was very pleasing. They are ranked much higher than us, so it was always going to be difficult.
“Yes, we would like to have won but it is more about the performance. I thought we played very well and there are lots of positives to come out of the game.
“This is part of our build-up for the Olympic qualifiers and this will have helped no end.”
Sarah Hutchinson took a knock to her knee during the game and underwent an x-ray.
It showed no damage but it’s unlikely she will play any further part this weekend.
The two sides meet again tomorrow afternoon (face-off 3.30 pm UK time).