Desbiens makes 52 saves in Canadian women’s loss at Capital City Challenge

Canada goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens (35) in action during the Rivalry Series in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. (Justin Tang/CP)

OTTAWA — The Canadian women’s hockey team closed out preliminary play at the Capital City Challenge with its closest game of the tournament thanks to a remarkable performance from goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens.

The national women’s team lost 4-1 to Team Canada Black at Ottawa’s TD Place Arena on Sunday.

The Canadian women dropped to 0-3 in the round-robin stage. They lost 7-3 to Team Canada White on Friday and a 7-0 to Team Canada Red on Saturday.

The tournament features Canada’s national women’s team and three men’s under-17 teams.

Desbiens stopped 52 pucks in defeat on Sunday as Canada Black outshot the women’s team 56-15. Shots were 41-7 after two periods.

"Every game we play is very different, but any time you have the opportunity to play against a high-level competition you just try your best and try to give your team an opportunity to win," said Desbiens.

"I think that is what I did today. I would not necessarily say it was the best performance of my career, but I had a lot of fun out there and it was a big challenge."

Nick Lardis, Ty Halaburda, Zach Benson and Logan Crosby scored for Canada Black, which improved to 2-0. Joseph Costanzo stopped 14-of-15 shots.

Brianne Jenner scored the lone goal for the Canadian women in the third period from Marie-Philip Poulin and Micah Zandee-Hart.

Earlier, Canada Red defeated Canada White 4-2 to finish its preliminary round with a 2-1 record.

The Capital City Challenge is a one-time replacement for the world under-17 hockey challenge, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada Black faces Canada White (1-1) in the tournament’s final preliminary game Monday.

The semifinals are scheduled for Tuesday, with the medal games going Wednesday.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.