Shannon Szabados, Canada’s top goalie at the last three Olympics, will not be going to a fourth Winter Games next year, as things stand.
Szabados, 34, is not on the 28-player centralization roster from which the 23-player Olympic roster will be named, likely in late December.
“We had some difficult decisions to make, but that just shows how hard our athletes have worked on and off the ice for the opportunity to centralize and get a chance to compete for 23 Olympic roster spots,” national team director Gina Kingsbury said in a press release Wednesday. “We have a number of veterans on this roster in addition to some young athletes who have earned this opportunity.”
Szabados is still part of the national team program after recently taking time away to have daughter Shaylyn last August, a Hockey Canada spokesperson said.
“I am still training, working out etc but my little one is only 8 months so between having her and covid severely limiting any real opportunities to compete I knew I was no where near where i needed to be to be at Olympic level,” Szabados, who is now based primarily in Ohio, wrote in an email. “That coupled with just wanting to be a mom right now, that little girl is my #1 priority at the moment and it wasn’t the right time to make a comeback. I will continue to train and skate and see where the women’s game goes, hopefully there is an opportunity to play somewhere here soon! I am still carded (meaning I can be on the roster for Team Canada at any point moving forward) so we shall see where the future takes us!”
Szabados played in the last major tournament, the 2019 World Championship, where she was in net for a semifinal loss to Finland. It marked the first time in 19 editions of the tournament that Canada did not reach a final matchup with the U.S.
In 2010, Szabados made her Olympic debut and shut out the U.S. 2-0 in the final in Vancouver, stopping 28 shots. She was considered Canada’s third goalie going into the Games, but was chosen over Kim St-Pierre and Charline Labonte, starting goalies in the previous two Olympic finals, to start the semifinal and final.
She was tapped again for the 2014 final in Sochi, won by Canada 3-2 in overtime, to become the only female goalie to win multiple Olympic finals.
In 2018, Szabados said she wasn’t cleared to play until after arriving in PyeongChang due to an MCL tear two months earlier.
She got the No. 1 spot back, but Canada lost the Olympic final to the U.S. in a shootout. American Monique Lamoureux-Morando tied it with 6:21 left. Twin Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson beat Szabados in the shootout once it moved to sudden death.
Canada’s centralization roster goalies include Ann-Renée Desbiens, the 2017 NCAA Player of the Year for Wisconsin, and Emerance Maschmeyer, a member of the last four world championship teams. Geneviève Lacasse, a reserve on the last two Olympic teams, did not make the centralization roster.
Also missing: defender Laura Fortino, who made every Olympic and world championship team since 2012 and led all Canadian skaters in ice time at the 2018 Olympics and 2019 Worlds.
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