EDMONTON -- Fresh off her second Olympic gold medal and a practice with the NHLs Edmonton Oilers, goaltender Shannon Szabados will join the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League next week. The Cottonmouths announced Friday the team intended to sign the Edmonton goalie. Szabados would be the first female to play in the 10-team SPHL since its formation 10 years ago, the team said. Its been an eventful two weeks for Szabados, who backstopped the Canadian womens hockey team to Olympic gold Feb. 20 in Sochi. "When I got home from Sochi, I thought Id be hanging my stuff up for the summer, but definitely excited to get over there," Szabados told The Canadian Press. "Theres three guys that I played college with that play on this team in Columbus and theyve been bugging me for a couple of years to go there." "I had never talked to their head coach and he called me yesterday. Honestly, I thought he was calling to ask me if I would want to go there next year. It happened a little fast, but Im excited." Szabados made 27 saves in Canadas 3-2 thrilling overtime win over the U.S. to defend the gold in Sochi. She posted a 28-save shutout over the Americans in the womens Olympic hockey final in 2010. But the 27-year-old has spent the majority of her hockey career in mens leagues. She played for Sherwood Park, Bonneyville and Fort Saskatchewan during her four years in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Szabados was named the AJHLs top goaltender in 2006-07 after helping Fort Saskatchewan to a league-best record of 45-11-0-4. She then spent five years in Alberta mens college hockey with Grant MacEwen and then NAIT. She set a league record in 2012-13 for the lowest goals-against average (1.58) and her NAIT Ooks won their first championship in 16 years. Szabados stopped 30 of 31 shots in the final game. Cottonmouths captain Kyle Johnson, forward Jordan Draper and defenceman Andy Willigar are her former NAIT teammates. She suspects they paved her road to her first pro tryout. "Probably the guys had a lot to do with it," Szabados said. "It probably made the coach feel a little more at ease with the situation." Szabados will head to Columbus on Wednesday and will be introduced at a news conference the following day prior to a game at home against the Pensacola Ice Flyers. Winnipegs Andrew Loewen is the starting goaltender for the Cottonmouths "I am very excited to get a world-class athlete that has competed and has faced, high-pressured situations," Cottonmouths head coach Jerome Bechard said in a statement. "She won a championship with NAIT last year alongside Andy Willigar and Jordan Draper so I know she can compete at this level," Bechard said. "We are working on her immigration, and we are looking to sign her officially Thursday, where she will be backing up Loewen. "She will play when she feels comfortable and situated." The Cottonmouths are 23-22-3 and rank seventh in the league. Szabados participated in an Edmonton Oilers practice Wednesday. The Oilers were short a goalie on trade deadline day awaiting the arrival of Viktor Fasth from Anaheim. Szabados is grateful for that practice now because its the only time shes been on the ice since winning Olympic gold Feb. 20. "I havent been in the gym, I havent been on the ice, I havent been sleeping well," Szabados confessed. "Its been a whirlwind. I told (the coach) Im not going to rush into anything. If I dont feel comfortable I might not even play at all this year. "I want to go there and get on the ice and see how I feel. I still have to unpack from Sochi and pack for this. Im not too worried. Its only been two weeks." No woman has ever played in an NHL regular-season game. Goaltender Manon Rheaume became the first to play in an exhibition game with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992. Canadian womens star Hayley Wickenheiser has played as a forward in mens leagues in Finland and Sweden. The SPHL also includes the Bloomington Thunder, Fayetteville FireAntz, Huntsville Havoc, Knoxville IceBears, Louisiana IceGators, Mississippi RiverKings, Mississippi Surge and Peoria Rivermen. Szabados is accustomed to joining male teams. She believes her former Ook teammates will help her settle into the Cottonmouths locker room. "With having those three guys that Ive played with and since this has happened, at least a handful have tweeted at me and reached out to me," she said. "The older Ive gotten, the easier the transition has been to a new team. Im honestly not worried at all. They seem like a good group of guys." Anton Forsberg Jersey
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. The 22-year-old slugger, who is no stranger to adversity, made up for it at the end.Newcastle manager Alan Pardew head-butted a player in an English Premier League game against Hull on Saturday, leading to a swift formal warning and 100,000-pound ($168,000) fine from his club, and facing the prospect of a lengthy touchline ban. The touchline confrontation unfolded in the 72nd minute when Hull midfielder David Meyler barged into Pardew as he looked to retrieve the ball for a throw-in at KC Stadium. After squaring up to Meyler before moving his head in the direction of the players face, Pardew was sent to the stands. FA chairman Greg Dyke described Pardews actions as "serious" after Newcastles 4-1 win, and said an investigation would be opened. Pardews employers reacted quickly, holding urgent talks with the manager and announcing his punishment hours later. "His behaviour was unacceptable and is not the behaviour we expect from the manager of Newcastle United," the northeast club said on its website. Pardew, whose job does not appear to be under immediate threat, accepted the formal warning and fine, Newcastle said. "Alan unreservedly apologized immediately following the game to the player, to Hull City Football Club and its fans, and to the fans of Newcastle United," the club statement said. "We have held discussions this evening with Alan, who has offeered his sincere apologies to the club and it is clear he deeply regrets his actions.ddddddddddddquot; Although Pardew denied head-butting Meyler, he conceded the incident was "a wake-up call," coming after a recent touchline altercation with Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini. "(Meyler) was right on top of me and I wanted to just ease him away from me but obviously I put my head in a forward motion," Pardew said after the game. "I want to apologize to him, everyone at Hull and obviously my own fans as well. I dont think it was a head-butt. It wasnt a motion that was quick. "Sometimes when youre on the sideline like that you can get involved in a moment like that. It was an incident that just flared up all around me. I just wanted to get him away." Pardew said he would "accept whatever comes my way" as a punishment, and he was likely to be prevented from sitting on the bench for several games by the FA. Newcastles statement expressed disappointment that Pardews behaviour took the focus off such a fine attacking performance against Hull. Newcastle was already leading 3-1 at the time of the incident after Moussa Sissoko scored twice on either side of Loic Remys goal. With Pardew in the stands, Vurnon Anita added the fourth in stoppage time. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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