Shannon Szabados

Shannon Szabados
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Shannon Szabados cut from men’s pro team after 2 games

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Canadian Olympic goalie Shannon Szabados was cut from her men’s pro team two games into the season on Monday.

Szabados, playing in the Southern Professional Hockey League for a third year but in her first with the Peoria (Ill.) Rivermen, was cut along with the team’s other goalie, Storm Phaneuf, after they combined for 6-1 and 5-1 losses in the first two games last week.

“After our first two games, I thought our goaltending wasn’t good enough to compete, and changes had to be made,” Peoria coach Jean-Guy Trudel said in a press release. “We’re going to continue adjusting our roster as needed until we find a group on and off the ice that I feel can accomplish our primary goal here in Peoria, which is to build a winning team here in Peoria and bring our fans a championship.”

Szabados, a 30-year-old who won the last two Olympic finals against the U.S., recorded a goals-against average of 6.10 and a .792 save percentage while playing parts of both losses last week.

“I came off the ice after those games knowing it wasn’t going to work,” Trudel said, according to the Peoria Journal Star. “We had no preseason games, so essentially those acted as that test, and we found out some things that just weren’t going to be the way we needed.

“I thought our goaltending wasn’t good enough to compete, took the morale out of our team a bit and changes had to be made.”

Szabados had signed a tryout contract with Peoria a month earlier and was one of two goalies out of five to make the opening-night roster.

Szabados played for the Columbus (Ga.) Cottonmouths of the same league the previous two full seasons, ranking in the bottom half of the SPHL in goalie stats. She ranked second on the team in goalie games played each season.

2014-15: 3.12 GAA, .907 SV%
2015-16: 3.63 GAA, .910 SV%

If Szabados doesn’t sign with another pro team, she could now be available for a U.S.-Canada series in December. Szabados hasn’t played for the Canadian national team since the Sochi Olympics and reportedly said in August that she was unsure if she would make a 2018 Olympic run.

Szabados was not on the roster named Oct. 14 for next week’s Four Nations Cup in Finland, a tournament that includes the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden.

MORE: 2018 Olympic men’s hockey groups set

Shannon Szabados signs with different men’s pro hockey team

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Shannon Szabados, the longtime goalie for the Canadian women’s national team, has signed a tryout contract with the Peoria (Ill.) Rivermen of the Southern Professional Hockey League to try and continue her club career playing against men.

Szabados and two male goalies are expected to compete for two roster spots in a training camp ahead of Peoria’s season opener Oct. 21.

The two-time Olympic champion played for the Columbus (Ga.) Cottonmouths of the same league the previous two full seasons, ranking in the bottom half of the SPHL in goalie stats. She ranked second on the team in goalie games played each season.

2014-15: 3.12 GAA, .907 SV%
2015-16: 3.63 GAA, .910 SV%

Columbus was last in the nine-team SPHL last season, while Peoria posted the league’s best regular-season record each of the last two years.

The Canadian national team plays the Four Nations Cup from Nov. 1-5 in Finland, and while Szabados may be allowed by Peoria to take a leave if she makes the team, it’s unknown if she will.

“The schedules really don’t work together, so I have no idea what I’m going to do yet,” Szabados said, according to the Peoria Journal Star. “I have to sit down with Hockey Canada and see what can be worked out. I went to camp with them this month just to keep that door open.

“But I’m ready to get to Peoria and continue focusing on my pro career.”

MORE: 2018 Olympic men’s hockey groups set

Shannon Szabados unsure about 2018 Olympic run

Shannon Szabados
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Shannon Szabados, Canada’s No. 1 goalie at the last two Olympics, remains unsure if or when she will return to the national team, according to Postmedia News.

“I’ve got some time to figure it out,” Szabados said, according to the report. “I’m getting a bit older, and I’ve been there [to the Olympics] twice, but I still enjoy putting on the jersey and representing our country … Who knows how my body will hold up?”

Szabados, 30, played in the Southern Professional Hockey League — a men’s league — for the Columbus (Ga.) Cottonmouths the last two seasons and said she has seen snow once in that time frame.

In May, Cottonmouths head coach and general manager Jerome Bechard said Szabados told him that she was unsure about the 2018 Olympics, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Szabados didn’t play in either the 2015 or 2016 World Championships, where Canada lost to the U.S. in both finals. Worlds take place during the Southern Professional Hockey League season.

“I haven’t had the chance to jump back in, but the Olympics is still a year and a half away,” Szabados said, according to Postmedia News.

Szabados is not yet committed to a professional team for the 2016-17 season. She ranked in the bottom half of the league’s goalies in statistics in her two full Columbus seasons.

2014-15: 3.12 GAA, .907 SV%
2015-16: 3.63 GAA, .910 SV%

MORE: Final three 2018 Olympic men’s hockey spots set to be filled