Shannon Szabados has broken barriers by becoming the first woman to be a full-timer in men’s professional hockey, and the 29-year-old made a bit more history this past weekend when she became the first woman to register a shutout in a men’s pro game.
Szabados, who plays for the SPHL’s Columbus Cottonmouths, made 33 saves Saturday evening against the Huntsville Havoc for her third win of the season in 12 starts. The win improved her record to 3-5-3 on the season. While she has seen her goals-against average slip to 3.58 from 3.12 in 2014-15, Szabados’ save percentage has actually gone up to .909 from .907 last season.
Szabados has been able to post respectable numbers in the SPHL and has even earned player of the week nods twice since becoming a full-timer in the 10-team league. Her first win in the league came Nov. 21, 2014, and she has been a fixture with the Cottonmouths for the past two seasons.
The Cottonmouths handed Szabados an additional one year on her deal this summer, but her contract will be up again this off-season. There’s no indication yet if she’ll remain in the SPHL, but she’s on pace to start 30 of Columbus’ 56 games this season.
Szabados rose to fame as the starting netminder for the Canadian women’s national team. She won back-to-back gold medals with Team Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympic games. At the Sochi games, Szabados posted a 0.96 GAA and .954 SP in three games.