Olympic champion woman to play US men’s professional ice hockey game – The Guardian

A member of Canada’s Olympic champion women’s ice hockey team is expected to play in a US men’s professional game on Saturday night.

The Columbus Cottonmouths, who play in the Southern Professional Hockey League, announced on Friday that Shannon Szabados will be their goalie against the Knoxville Ice Bears at the Columbus Civic Center.

The Columbus Ledger Enquirer reported that Szabados arrived in Columbus on Wednesday night and took part in a short practice on Thursday morning, before attending a press conference.

The Cottonmouths’ assistant head coach, Brad Prefontaine, said Szabados looked “phenomenal” during practice in her short time with the team. He added that the Cottonmouths would love to see a full arena to support Szabados in her professional debut.

A number of women athletes have recently attempted to break into America’s major professional sports. Last year Lauren Silberman became the first woman to attend an NFL scouting combine, only to suffer an injury as she tried out as a kicker.

A month later, the Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban attracted attention by saying he might take the Baylor star Brittney Griner in the second round of the NBA draft, “just to see if she could do it”. Griner now plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA.

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