Shannon Szabados becomes first woman to win game in SPHL
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.
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.
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