Great Britain were narrowly beaten 3-2 by hosts Slovenia despite a battling performance in their opening game of the World Championship.
Slovenia twice took the lead only to be hauled back by Tony Hand's side both times, before Tomaz Razingar fired the winner in the final period.
Assistant coach Doug Christiansen said: "We competed hard and we battled well.
"I saw enough in this game to know we can compete at this tournament but we know we have to get better."
The hosts, who were relegated from the top-flight Elite Division last season, took the lead in the Division 1A clash through Ziga Jeglic.
Colin Shields then levelled for GB in the seventh minute, but Slovenia went ahead again through David Rodman for a 2-1 first-period lead.
Craig Peacock hit back for Britain at the start of the second period, before Razingar netted with just under four minutes remaining.
Christiansen added: "We made some mistakes and we will have to improve going forward.
"But I thought Stephen Murphy was fantastic and the line of Colin Shields, Robert Dowd and Craig Peacock was a threat all night."
Hand's side are in action again on Monday against Austria.