Female Canadian goalie debuts in men's league

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The goalie for Canada's gold medalist women's Olympic hockey team made her debut in the men's Southern Professional Hockey League.

Shannon Szabados had 27 saves, although her Columbus Cottonmouths lost 4-3 to the Knoxville Ice Bears on Saturday. The 27-year-old goaltender joined the team last week.

This was her first game since the Olympic women's final Feb. 20. She did, however, practice with the NHL's Edmonton Oilers on March 5 when they were short a backup goaltender.

No woman has played in an NHL regular-season game. Goaltender Manon Rheaume became the first to play in an exhibition game with Tampa Bay in 1992. Canadian women's hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser played in men's leagues in Finland and Sweden.

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