The Canadian women's Para hockey team took home silver at the Women's World Challenge for the second straight year after a 2-0 loss to the United States in Sunday's final.
Canada's Jessie Gregory delivered another stellar performance with a tournament-high 23 saves, but the Canadians were only able to register one shot against the defending champion. The U.S. went 4-0 without surrendering a goal in the four-team tournament at the Cornerstone Community Center in Green Bay, Wisc.
Canada finished with a 2-2 record after round-robin wins over Great Britain (0-4) and Team World (2-2), which is made up of players from 11 countries.
Gregory turned away 11 shots to keep the final scoreless in the first period, including multiple glove saves, but U.S. forward Kelsey Lee Diclaudio managed to beat a screened Gregory early in the second frame during a delayed penalty.
Canada was outshot 21-0 entering the third period, but the game remained within reach thanks to Gregory's heroics. The Wainfleet, Ont., native faced a similar onslaught against the U.S. in Canada's opener, making 22 saves in a 3-0 loss on Thursday.
Hope Bevilhymer made the lone save for the U.S. in the third period.
Canadian offensive star Raphaëlle Tousignant was held in check after back-to-back three-point games and was called for three penalties.
Despite the lack of shots on goal, Canada enjoyed more success in the American zone and had opportunities to generate offence. A Canadian shot was deflected just over the net shortly before American forward Lera Doederlein added the insurance dagger on a breakaway.
Doederlein scored with just over five minutes left in the game as the home crowd erupted. Canada pulled Gregory for the extra attacker in the final minutes, but the speedy Americans were able to kill the clock for their second Women's World Challenge title.
The U.S. beat Canada 5-1 in last year's gold-medal game at the inaugural edition of the tournament, also held in Green Bay.
Hosted by World Para Ice Hockey, the tournament serves as an important stepping stone toward establishing a women's Para hockey world championship in 2025, with the ultimate goals of increasing female participation in the sport and having it added to the Paralympic program in 2030.
While Para hockey is technically a mixed sport at the Paralympic level, only three female players have ever competed at the Games.
Tousignant, along with captain Alanna Mah, are among the 30 players invited to Canada's national team evaluation camp next Friday in Calgary ahead of the 2023-24 season. Tousignant made history last May as the first-ever woman to make Canada's national team for the World Para Ice Hockey Championships.
Canada's 19-player roster in Green Bay featured 13 returning players from last year's silver-medal squad, with Tara Chisholm back as head coach. The Canadians bounced back from their opening loss to the U.S. with a 4-2 win over Team World on Friday and 9-0 thumping of Great Britain on Saturday.
Led by 2018 Paralympian Lena Schroeder of Norway, Team World claimed bronze with a 7-0 victory over Great Britain earlier on Sunday.