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Szabados signs with men's hockey team

Shannon Szabados
Shannon Szabados
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

According to the Canadian Press, Canadian Olympic gold medalist Shannon Szabados of Edmonton, Alberta has signed on with the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League on Friday.

Szabados has been Canada's number one goaltender in women's hockey at the last two Olympic Winter Games as team Canada won the gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

But it appears Szabados is seeking a new challenge and has decided to play with men in this independent professional hockey league that started in 2004.

One thing to note about the Cottonmouths organizaton is that they are located in Columbus, Georgia and not Columbus, Ohio, so they are not in direct competition with the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets.

Szabbados has played with men on a regular basis throughout her hockey career. She has played with NAIT and Grant MacEwan in the Alberta Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Szabados's gold medal winning teammate Hayley Wickenheiser has also played men's professional hockey in Sweden and Finland.

The Cottonmouths are currently at 24-22-3 and are in seventh place in the ten team league.