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Canadian goalie Szabados takes move to NWHL in stride

Two-time Olympic medalist Shannon Szabados is used to going through pictures in males’s leagues this time of yr. Now, the veteran goaltender is completely satisfied competing opposed to ladies.

“I beloved my time enjoying males’s hockey,” Szabados stated. “I have no idea at 32 65-game agenda 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 International locations Cup match, an annual match that still comprises the US, Sweden and Finland.

Szabados has spent nearly all of her hockey occupation 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 recreation got here within the winters she spent centralized with the Canadian crew in Calgary making ready for Olympic Video games.

Her bodily wishes, private lifestyles and geography factored into the 32-year-old from Edmonton signing with the Buffalo Beauts of the five-team Nationwide Girls’s Hockey League.

Lorain, simply west of Cleveland, Ohio, is the homeland of her spouse Carl Nielsen and the place Szabados sought after to transport after February’s Wintry weather Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“Firstly, the verdict was once in line with him having a just right task there,” she defined. “They have got had a jewellery retailer of their circle of relatives for just about 400 years, so it was once vital for him to be there.”

Now, she’s turn out to be very conversant in Interstate 90, and the 435-mile (700-kilometer) around commute 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 find out how to Buffalo, there is a Shell and a Tim Hortons,” she stated Thursday on the 4 International locations Cup match.

Kim and Terry Pegula, house owners of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, bought the Beauts in 2017.

“It is more or less an enormous step for ladies’s hockey,” Szabados stated. “Numerous our workforce overlap. Our media workforce, one man places on his Sabres jacket after which he places on his Beauts jacket.

“We get top notch remedy throughout so far as amenities and the way we are handled.”

Szabados injured ligaments in her left knee towards the tip of her 2nd 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 all the way through their 2017-18 prep for Pyeongchang.

However Szabados stopped 40 of 42 pictures, together with 9 in additional time, 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 lengthen her occupation is a concern for her now.

“I knew if I sought after to proceed … I did not have the healthiest of years remaining yr, so it was once vital for me to be someplace the place I may well be again to being 100 in step with cent,” Szabados stated.

“Being at the ice seven days per week for hours upon hours and getting operating over through 200-pound males was once most probably now not the best state of affairs for me health-wise. I pass over it, however I revel in the place I am at.”

In 64 video games for Canada, Szabados ranks 2nd all-time in wins (47) and shutouts (17), in 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 find out how 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 moderate 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 determination.

She echoes avid gamers in each the NWHL and Canadian Girls’s Hockey League in wishing for a merger of the 2 leagues.

“I believe ladies’s hockey is more or less at an exhilarating level at the moment,” Szabados stated. “I’d feel sorry about it if I did not stick round to peer the place it is going.”

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Extra AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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