In her first career start for the Canadian women's hockey team, the 20-year-old goaltender from La Malbaie, Que., produced a 19-save shutout Sunday in a 4-0 win over Russia at the women's world hockey championship.
"It was a lot of fun out there," Desbiens said.
Montreal's Caroline Ouellette and Courtney Birchard of Mississauga, Ont., paced Canada with a goal and an assist apiece.
Laura Fortino of Hamilton and captain Marie-Philip Poulin of Beauceville, Ont., also scored. Rebecca Johnston of Sudbury, Ont., contributed a pair of assists.
Canada (1-1) opened the tournament Saturday with a 4-2 loss to defending champion United States and concludes Pool A against Finland on Tuesday.
A win in regulation or overtime gives Canada a bye to Friday's semifinals. The U.S. (2-0) secured a semifinal berth with Sunday's 4-1 win over the Finns.
With a 2-0 victory over Germany, Japan continued its surprising start in Pool B with a second win in as many days. Host Sweden beat Switzerland 3-2 to put both countries at 1-1.
Hockey Canada brought its youngest team ever to a world championship to give the inexperienced the experience of pursuing a gold medal at the highest level of the women's game.
Desbiens is one of 10 on Canada's 23-player roster making their world championship debuts.
Her teammates were intent on preserving the shutout for Desbiens. Fortino nearly bowled Desbiens over late in the third period to bat away a puck the goalie momentarily lost track of as it deflected high above her head.
There was no panic in Desbiens' demeanour, however. She killed off a Russian two-man advantage early in the third.
"She's a very calm goalie and for the defence, especially myself, I found that right off the bat she was really calm and plays the puck well," Fortino said. "She handled every situation to the best of her ability today."
Desbiens also executed what resembled the figure skating move, the Russian splits, when she leaped in the air and lifted her legs to avoid Olga Sosina bulldozing into her net early in the second period.
"I got a good score on that from my goalie coach," Desbiens joked. "It was a pretty nice jump. Just having fun out there making some acrobatic moves, I guess."
The four-goal differential matched the tightest game between Canada and Russia at a women's world championship. The other was a 5-1 decision in 2001.
Russia is much improved from their 14-1 thrashing from Canada in 2012.
They're benefiting from the increased attention bestowed on them by their federation in the year and a half prior to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Russia won the bronze medal at the most recent world championship in Ottawa in 2013. They finished sixth in the Winter Games.
With less than 24 hours to recover from a shootout loss to Finland, Russia sustained their discipline and effort against Canada until the final buzzer. Maria Sorokina stopped all but one of 24 shots Sunday in relief of starter Yulia Leskina.
"Between the first and second periods, we made some adjustments to make sure we played well in the defensive zone," said Iya Gavrilova, who plays for the University of Calgary.
"We kind of fixed those things and got better in our speed. That kind of led us to a good third period."
With Shannon Szabados about to start playoffs with the SPHL's Columbus Cottonmouths and three-time Olympian Charline Labonte not on this roster, Canada is unusually unseasoned in net in Malmo.
Genevieve Lacasse of Kingston, Ont., has the most international experience of the three goalies. The 25-year-old has yet to start a world championship final or play in an Olympic Games.
Desbiens and Canada's other young goalie, Emerance Maschmeyer of Bruderheim, Alta., both played high-stakes games within a week of the world championship's opening weekend.
Wisconsin's Desbiens took the 20-save loss in a 3-1 Frozen Four semifinal loss to Minnesota on March 21. Harvard's Maschmeyer then stopped 29 in a 4-1 loss to the Golden Gophers in the NCAA final the following day.
"We wanted to get some of our other goaltenders some action here in the tournament," Canadian head coach Doug Derraugh said. "Ann-Renee did play really well this year in the NCAA and played very well for us in an exhibition game.
"As a young goaltender, she looked really calm in there. Sometimes when you put in a goaltender for their first senior national game, you wonder what you're going to get, but it didn't seem to phase her at all."Suggest a correction