Defenceman Steve Lee says Great Britain need to use the Olympic Pre-Qualifiers as a springboard for April’s World Championship in Zagreb.

GB missed out on a place in the final qualifying stages for the Olympics with a last-day 6-2 defeat by hosts Italy.

The Italians will now go to Norway in a bid to book their place in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

GB will next return to action with international challenge matches against Poland in Nottingham and Coventry, before embarking on their World Championship (Division 1B) campaign in mid-April.

“We were here for a week and it is definitely good preparation,” said Lee.

“It is getting used to playing with each other and that is very important.

“It will put us in good when the World Championships do come around.”

After victories over Netherlands and Serbia, GB had to settle for second place in Group G in Cortina.

Lee said: “We have to respect our opponents. Coming in here tonight, we played a team who were fast, strong and move the puck really well.

“Everybody did as much as we possibly could out here.

“It wasn’t about not working hard as everybody worked hard tonight.

“We made a couple of errors here and there and they capitalised on it.”