Sunday November 23rd, 2014

Shannon Szabados has reached another milestone for women trying to make inroads in men's pro hockey.

The two-time Olympic gold medal-winning goalie recorded her first professional win for the Columbus Cottonmouths in the Southern Professional Hockey League on Friday, becoming the first female goaltender to win a game in the SPHL.

Szabados faced 38 shots and blocked 34 in the Cottonmouths' 5-4 overtime victory over the Fayetteville FireAntz. 

Aside from marking a historic achievement for Szabados, the win was also the first of the season for Columbus, breaking its eight-game losing streak. 

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The Canadian became the first woman to sign with an SPHL team in March. In her three games this season, her first full season with the Cottonmouths, Szabados has recorded a 4.27 goals against average and an .879 save percentage. 

No woman has yet to play in a regular season NHL game, but Szabados made headlines when she practiced with the Edmonton Oilers in March.

“As a hockey player, and as a female hockey player, you just want to be seen as a hockey player and as a goalie," Szabados said then.

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In trying to break through the glass ceiling of women in men's hockey, Szabados is following in the legacy of Manon Rheume, who played goalie for the Tampa Bay Lighting in a 1992 exhibition game, and Erin Whitten, who played for the ECHL's Toledo Storm and became the first female goalie to win a professional game in 1993.

-- Anna Gallegos

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