Shannon Szabados prepares for the gold medal game against the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics
August 6, 1986 |
Edmonton, AB, CAN
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||147 lb (67 kg; 10 st 7 lb)|
|Sherwood Park Crusaders
Grant MacEwan Griffins
Szabados in 2010
|Women's ice hockey|
|Competitor for Canada|
|IIHF World Women's Championships|
|Gold||2012 United States|
|Air Canada Cup|
|Women's 4 Nations Cup|
Shannon Szabados (born August 6, 1986 in Edmonton, Alberta) is an ice hockey goaltender for the Canadian national hockey team. She has played for the men's MacEwan University hockey team, and currently plays for the NAIT Ooks in Edmonton, Alberta. Szabados has been the first female player at several different tournaments and in several leagues, both during minor and junior hockey. While playing junior hockey, Szabados became the first female to play in the Western Hockey League (WHL) where she played exhibition games for the Tri-City Americans. Szabados was also the first female to play in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), and recorded a shutout in her first game. After the 2006–07 season, Szabados was named the AJHL's Top Goaltender. In international play, Szabados played for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She was in goal during Canada's gold medal win over the United States. After the tournament, she was named Top Goaltender and was selected to the Tournament All-Star Team.
At nine years old, Szabados became the first girl to play in the Brick Super Novice Tournament held at the West Edmonton Mall. In 2001, at the age of 15, she was the first female to play in the Calgary Mac’s AAA midget hockey tournament, suiting up for the Edmonton Maple Leafs. Among the competition at the Mac's tournament when Szabados played were the Shattuck-St. Mary's Sabres led by Zach Parise.
In 2002, at the age of 16, she became the first female to play in the Western Hockey League (WHL). Szabados played in four exhibition games for the Tri-City Americans. During her time in the Americans' training camp, Szabados split an exhibition game with current Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price. Szabados recalls, "...he let in four goals in the half he played; I let in two and one in overtime." When she was released from Tri-City, Szabados returned to Alberta to play in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), after a vote among the league's general managers regarding female players.
In her first game with the AJHL's Sherwood Park Crusaders on October 2, 2002, Szabados recorded a shutout in addition to winning the game. During her AJHL career, Szabados spent time with the Crusaders as well as the Bonnyville Pontiacs and the Fort Saskatchewan Traders. While playing for Sherwood Park, Szabados played in the AJHL All-Star game, and was named co-MVP of the 2004–05 game. After the season, she was named co-MVP of the Sherwood Park club as well. During the 2006–07 season, Szabados led the Traders to the top record in the AJHL and came within a game of winning the AJHL championship against the Camrose Kodiaks. She was named to the AJHL North Division All-Star Team for the 2007 All-Star Weekend. Szabados was the recipient of the Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey League Trophy as the AJHL's Top Goaltender after the 2006–07 season, becoming the first female recipient of the award. She was also named MVP of the Fort Saskatchewan club.
Because Szabados spent time in a WHL training camp, she was ineligible to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which is a common path for female hockey players. Instead, Szabados played for the men's team at Grant MacEwan University in Alberta. Szabados spent two full seasons playing with Grant MacEwan (2007–08 and 2008–09) before leaving to join Hockey Canada's program as they assembled the Olympic team. During the 2007–08 season, Szabados helped Grant MacEwan to a silver medal at the 2008 Alberta College Athletic Conference (ACAC). She is returning to the Griffins for the 2010–11 season. Currently playing for the Nait Ooks Men's hockey team 2011/2012
Szabados has represented Canada internationally at the Under-22 and Senior levels. she made her Team Canada debut in 2006, helping Canada to a gold medal at the 2006 4 Nations Cup, held in Kitchener, Ontario. In the opening game of the tournament, Szabados recorded a 3-0 shutout against the United States. Szabados also made her debut with Canada's Under-22 women's team in 2006. She won three straight gold medals at the Air Canada Cup between 2006 and 2008.
Szabados served as an alternate for Team Canada at the 2008 IIHF World Women's Championships, and was named to the roster in 2009, but did not play. In 2009, Szabados represented Canada at the 4 Nations Cup, where she played in the gold medal game and recorded a 5-1 victory over the United States.
Szabados was expected to be Canada's third goalie heading into the 2010 Winter Olympics, behind veterans Kim St. Pierre and Charline Labonté. In pre-tournament play, including a series of games against midget boys teams from Alberta, Szabados posted the best numbers of the three. Her record against the midget boys was 10-1, with a 1.99 goals against average and .936 save percentage. She also posted three wins against the American women's team leading up to the Olympics, including the 4 Nations Cup.
She was a member of the 2009–10 Hockey Canada national women's team which won the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics and earned two shutouts, including the final game against the United States women's national ice hockey team. She was selected to the tournament all-star team at the Olympics, and was named top goaltender. In a March 31, 2012 exhibition game versus the United States, Szabados made 24 saves in a 1-0 shutout win at the Ottawa Civic Centre.
In March 2010, there was a movement by some in the Edmonton media for the Edmonton Oilers to consider signing Szabados when goaltender Devan Dubnyk came down with the flu prior to a game against the Vancouver Canucks, leaving the Oilers with only one goaltender and in need of an emergency backup. Instead, Calgary Dinos goaltender Nathan Deobald was signed to an amateur tryout contract, prompting journalists such as the Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones to criticize the last overall club's move.
Her parents names are Gary and Sharyl, and she has one brother named Matthew. She is majoring in physical education at MacEwen University. Szabados was on the cover of Hello! Canada in March 2010. She is of Hungarian descent; her last name, Szabados, is an old Hungarian status term meaning "liberated", as it referred to a person freed from serfdom. Szabados was teammates and friends with Canadian sledge hockey player Matt Cook during her time in the AJHL. At the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Szabados had "FLM" on her goalie mask, for "Fight like Matt" in Cook's honour.
Awards and honours
- Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Media All-Star Team
- Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Directorate Award, Best Goaltender
- Stock, Curtis (2010-02-11). "Altering perceptions part of Szabados's game plan". canada.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "PLAYER PROFILE - Shannon Szabados". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
- "AJHL 2006-07 League Award Presentations". Alberta Junior Hockey League. 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- Szabo, Paul. "Interview with Shannon Szabados: One on one with Team Canada's youngest star goalie". In Goal. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- MacKinnon, John (2010-03-24). "Szabados rumour had its moment". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2010-06-24.[dead link]
- "Canada blanks USA at Four Nations Cup". The Sports Network. 2006-11-07. Archived from the original on 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
- "Hockey Canada Game Summary". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Szabados challenges goalies St. Pierre, Labonte on Canadian women's team". Red Deer Advocate. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- Canada wins gold in women's hockey
- Hunter, Paul (2010-02-25). "Canadian women beat U.S. for hockey gold". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
- Hello! Canada, No. 165, March 15, 2010.
- Kurtz, Dahlia (2010-03-10). "Sledge hockey Paralympian Matt Cook a cancer survivor". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- Shannon Szabados' profile at ajhl.ca.