Two-time Olympic medalist Shannon Szabados is used to going through photographs in males’s leagues this time of yr. Now, the veteran goaltender is completely satisfied competing within the 4 Countries Cup and for Buffalo within the ladies’s professional league.
“I beloved my time enjoying males’s hockey,” Szabados stated. “I do not know at 32 65-game time table is what my frame wishes.”
Szabados has been the go-to goaltender for the Canadian ladies’s crew in lots of global and Olympic finals since 2010. Now, she’s a part of Canada’s crew for the 4 Countries Cup match, an annual match that comes with america, Sweden and Finland.
Canada will face the U.S. on Saturday night time within the ultimate. It is a rematch of the Olympic ultimate that the American citizens gained in South Korea.
Szabados has spent nearly all of her hockey profession in males’s leagues, beginning with exhibition video games for WHL’s Tri-Town American citizens at age 16 to complete seasons within the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Alberta Schools Athletic Convention and the Southern Skilled Hockey League.
Any sustained time within the ladies’s sport got here within the winters she spent with the Canadian crew in Calgary making ready for Olympic Video games.
Her bodily, non-public and geographic wishes factored into the Edmonton local signing with the Buffalo Beauts of the five-team Nationwide Ladies’s Hockey League.
Lorain, simply west of Cleveland, Ohio, is the native land of her spouse Carl Nielsen. It is the place Szabados sought after to transport after the Olympics in February.
“Firstly, the verdict was once in keeping with him having a just right process there,” she stated. “They have got had a jewellery retailer of their circle of relatives for just about 400 years, so it was once necessary for him to be there.”
Now, she’s transform accustomed to Interstate 90, and the 435-mile (700-kilometer) around travel from Lorain to Buffalo, New York, that she makes two times per week to play and observe with the Beauts.
“Go out 27, that is my go-to. On the best way to Buffalo, there is a Shell and a Tim Hortons,” she stated Thursday on the 4 Countries Cup match.
Kim and Terry Pegula, homeowners of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, bought the Beauts in 2017.
“It is roughly an enormous step for girls’s hockey,” Szabados stated. “Numerous our team of workers overlap. Our media team of workers, one man places on his Sabres jacket after which he places on his Beauts jacket.
“We get firstclass remedy throughout so far as amenities and the way we are handled.”
Szabados injured ligaments in her left knee towards the top of her 2d season with the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Skilled Hockey League in 2016.
Accidents additionally restricted her to a handful of video games with the Canadian ladies throughout their 2017-18 preparation for Pyeongchang.
However Szabados stopped 40 of 42 photographs, together with 9 in time beyond regulation, within the Olympic ultimate. The U.S. prevailed in a six-round shootout to say gold.
Szabados turned into tearful after the sport whilst speaking about accidents that sidelined her for a lot of the season. A wholesome frame that may prolong her profession is a concern for her now.
“I knew if I sought after to proceed … I did not have the healthiest of years closing yr, so it was once necessary for me to be someplace the place I might be again to being 100 in line with cent,” Szabados stated. “Being at the ice seven days per week for hours upon hours and getting working over through 200-pound males was once most definitely now not the perfect scenario for me health-wise. I leave out it, however I revel in the place I am at.”
In 64 video games for Canada, Szabados ranks 2d all-time in wins (47) and shutouts (17), at the back of Kim St. Pierre, who has 64 wins and 29 shutouts.
Szabados made 27 and 28 saves within the 2014 and 2010 Olympic ladies’s finals, respectively, on the best way to the gold medal.
She is the primary participant from Canada’s nationwide crew to play within the NWHL. Szabados is 1-2 for the Beauts this season with a goals-against reasonable of one.67 and a save share of .938.
U.S. ladies’s crew ahead Dani Cameranesi and defender Emily Pfalzer are her Beauts teammates.
How lengthy Szabados will have a tendency web is a year-to-year choice.
She echoes avid gamers in each the NWHL and Canadian Ladies’s Hockey League in wishing for a merger of the 2 leagues.
“I feel ladies’s hockey is more or less at a thrilling level at the moment,” Szabados stated. “I might remorseful about it if I did not stick round to peer the place it is going.”
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