March 14, 2014 6:14 pm
Updated: March 14, 2014 6:40 pm

Szabados pro debut set for Saturday night


EDMONTON – Shannon Szabados will make her professional debut Saturday night in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) as the Columbus Cottonmouths play host to the Knoxville Ice Bears.

The Cottonmouths – or ‘Snakes’ as they’re known to their fans – originally signed Edmonton native Szabados as their backup goalie but promoted her to starter after her first practice.

READ MORE: Shannon Szabados goes pro 

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“Shannon has looked phenomenal in practice in her short time with us,” said assistant head coach Brad Prefontaine in a release posted on the team’s website.

“She hasn’t missed a beat since the Olympics wrapped three weeks ago,” he added.

“We would love to see a full arena to support our newest Snake as she makes her professional debut.”

READ MORE: Olympian Shannon Szabados practices with Oilers 

For Szabados, the 10-year-old league is just the latest organization for which she has broken the gender barrier.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist is also the first female to play in the Brick Super Novice hockey tournament, the Mac’s AAA Midget World Invitational Tournament, the WHL and AJHL. She also spent a year with the NAIT Ooks with three of her current Cottonmouth teammates.

Szabados has been in the centre of a media blitz since arriving in Georgia and commented on all the attention at a recent team press conference.

“Honestly 99.9 of the responses I’ve got have been in a positive manner. It’s fun to be a part of and at the same time I just wanna play hockey.”

WATCH: Goalie Shannon Szabados talks about hitting the ice for Edmonton Oilers practice

Game time is set for 5:30 MST.


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