Shannon Szabados wins first game for Cottonmouths, makes SPHL history

It’s apropos the Columbus Cottonmouths of the SPHL hosted Girl Scout Night when three women make history in the league.

Shannon Szabados, goaltender for the Columbus Cottonmouths, made 34 saves on her way to become the first female goaltender to win a game in the SPHL. Columbus beat the Fayetteville FireAntz (offical name, not kidding) 5-4 in overtime on Friday night.

This is Szabados second season with the Cottonmouths. She originally signed with the franchise in March as a backup to goaltender. Some were wary this was a gimmick by the SPHL, but she impressed the organization enough to where she re-signed in the backup role for a second go in August.

Szabados is more commonly known as the stellar goaltender for Team Canada. She backstopped the women’s national team to two gold medals in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

Two other women made SPHL history tonight. Erin Blair and Katie Guay became the first female officials to referee a SPHL game. From the press release:

“A native of Lisle, IL, Blair has been officiating for 14 years, after finishing her playing career in Division 1 Women’s Hockey as a goaltender for the University of Findlay (OH).  She has over a decade of international hockey experience with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) including working the 18-and-under World Championships in Germany and the IIHF World Championships in Switzerland.  Blair’s career highlight came in 2014 when she was one of just six referees selected to officiate in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.”

“Guay, a native of Westfield, MA, played four seasons at Brown University where she was named the team’s Most Valuable Player her sophomore season and was also a member of the women’s U22 National Hockey Team.  In October, she was selected to officiate the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Malmo, Sweden.  Guay previously worked the 2014 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship in Budapest, Hungary and currently officiates both men’s and women’s hockey in Hockey East and the ECAC …”

Congrats to Shannon, Erin, and Katie on the trail they’ve blazed for women in hockey. Keep putting cracks in those glass stanchions!