But the Rebels were the ones with their heads held highest after they knocked off the Rage 2-1 in a shootout in the 2009 Canadian Ball Hockey Championships.
Still, Rage coach Kevin Hughes was proud of his team's performance in its first year of existence.
"It shows that we can compete on a national level," said Hughes. "It shows people around Canada that Manitoba's got not only a good men's program, but a women's program as well.
"All along, I thought we could get to this point... we proved that we could carry the load."
Brian, 19, robbed Ontario's Clare Padmore on a breakaway 1:21 into the first overtime to keep Manitoba in the game. She may have topped it with a second-overtime pad save on a cross-crease pass to Andrea Kretz, and then gloving the rebound to the applause of the home crowd.
"You don't really think. You just go with it," said Brian, who plays ice hockey at Detroit's Wayne State University. "You do your best to stop it."
Leanne Kisil scored the Rage's regulation goal, deflecting an Alana Warnick shot past Kathryn Padmore, while Jenny Brine replied for Ontario.
The Rage thought that they had taken a 1-0 lead late in the first period when Sarah Stebeleski fired the ball out of a scramble and raised her arms after thinking she had scored. The goal judge saw the play differently, and the Rage were forced to live with the decision.
"From my angle on the bench, it looks like it's in the middle of the net," said Hughes. "Everyone on the floor and even the fans who were sitting on the side said 'that's in.'"
After a pair of 10-minute overtime periods, Ontario fired two shots behind Brian to take the shootout 2-1. Brine and Mel Roach tallied for Ontario while Katherine O'Rourke replied for Manitoba.
"They made two really, really good moves to beat her," said Hughes. "Unfortunately, they just weren't going in the net for us."
While Brian was disappointed in the loss, she appreciated her teammates' efforts to try to win the game for her after she kept the Rage in the game.
In the men's final, Brampton defeated Montreal 3-2.