EDMONTON, Alberta — Olympic champion women’s goalie Shannon Szabados took the ice with the Edmonton Oilers at practice Wednesday.
The Team Canada goalie filled in at practice for the National Hockey League while the Oilers waited for Viktor Fasth to arrive after a trade with Anaheim.
Szabados got the invite last night after fans on Twitter tried to convince the team to put her on the roster as backup goalie for its game against Ottawa.
“The guys were good about it,” she said. “They were chirping me and I was giving it right back to them.”
Szabados, who lives in Edmonton, became the first woman to play in the Western Hockey League and also helped the Canadian women’s hockey team win gold in Vancouver in 2010.
“She’s pretty good,” right winger Jordan Eberle said. “Once you figure that out, you try and score and put in as many as you can. It’s great that she could step in and help us out.”
Szabados’ parents and husband were on hand at the Oilers’ practice to cheer her on.
“It was pretty cool,” father Gary Szabados said.
No woman has ever played in an NHL regular-season game. Manon Rheaume became the first to play in an exhibition game with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992.
“If I was the last resort, then maybe,” she said, smiling.
“As a hockey player, you just want to play the highest level possible and playing in Sochi, winning a gold medal, was fun. And taking part in an NHL practice was pretty cool.”