Great Britain Women U18 began the World Championship (Division 1B) tournament in Katowice with a 3-0 defeat by Italy.
Anita Muraro and Mara de Rech gave Italy a 2-0 lead in the first period, but GB made a bright start to the middle session as Katie Marsden and Shannon Douglas went close to scoring.
Nadia Mattivi made it 3-0 midway through the third period and Italy comfortably saw out the remainder of the game to seal the win.
Head Coach Michelle Smith said: “We’re disappointed with the defeat, but I felt we got stronger as the game went on.
“We let nerves get the better of us in the first period, but in the second we settled down and started to gain confidence.
“Heads dropped when the third goal went in from a well-worked powerplay. It’s at those moments where we either bow down and give in, or we stand tall and show what we are made of.
“After a timeout and a stern talk, I was pleased to see they decided to show me what they are made of and again put pressure on Italy.
“Italy are a good side and will be looking for promotion, but we can take heart from the way we played in the second and third period.
“We must not get too down about the defeat as we have a quick turnaround for tomorrow’s game.”
GB take on Denmark on Monday (3.30pm UK time) in their second game of the tournament.
GB Women U18 roster
Maisie Gilbert – Telford Tigers
Courtney Newitt – Oxford/Haringey
Lucy Beal – Slough/Bracknell
Shannon Douglas – Ontario Hockey Academy
Sophie Emmanuel – Swindon
Verity Lewis – Ontario Hockey Academy
Sophie Reeks – Widnes
Ellie Wakeling – Chelmsford/Bracknell
Jemma Wallis – Sutton/Sheffield
Louise Beresford – Bracknell
Emily Harris – Basingstoke/Bracknell
Aimee Headland – Gloucester Cumberland Stars
Katie Marsden – Ontario Hockey Academy
Chloe Riley – Sutton/Sheffield
Elizabeth Saunders – Sheffield
Jessica Sprules – Swindon
Abbie Sylvester – Bracknell
Kiana Tait – Kingston
Casey Traill – Ontario Hockey Academy
Amy Truman – Solihull