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

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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.

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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.

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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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2021.

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