Szabados Debuts Columbus Cottonmouths Mask
Shannon Szabados became the first woman to play in the Southern Professional Hockey League this past season when she signed with the Columbus Cottonmouths on March 7th, 2014. It would appear that after conquering pretty much every competitive level traditionally available to female hockey players, Szabados wanted to ramp up the stakes and take on a new challenge. In addition to staying with the men’s professional team for the upcoming season, Szabados has also commissioned a new mask from Sylvie Poitras of AirBrushZap.
With her new CCM mask, Szabados is clearly shooting for a sinister, serpentine approach. With the classic Cottonmouth’s jaw extending from the top of the mask, over the face mask, and down onto the chin, it’s a fierce looking design. The scaly patterns by Poitras also give the mask a smooth, clean, and polished look. There are additional snakes on the left and right sides of the mask which will have Szabados showcasing the incredibly realistic artwork of Sylvie. Ophidiophobics beware! On the backplate of the mask, Szabados has the Canadian flag intertwined in her number, 40, a design penned by a friend of hers. Szabados also displays a few pieces of precious hardware on the back of her mask, with the two gold medals she won at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics making an appearance. Poitras said the mask was, “a lot of fun to design with her”. Sylvie also designed the mask worn by Szabados in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
Szabados is most likely to be recognized for her vast body of work on the international stage, representing Canada no less than 17 times at tournaments such as the 4 Nations Cup, the Meco Cup, the IIHF World Women’s Championships, and, of course, the Olympics. Winning gold 11 times, and silver an additional 6, Szabados has worn the maple leaf with tremendous pride and admirable success. In particular, her Olympic performances were marvelous. In 2010, of the 3 games Szabados played, she allowed only one goal, and that was during the round robin. In the semifinal and final, she recorded two shutouts, the latter a 28 save performance over rival USA, earning her a gold medal and the award for the tournament’s best goalie. In 2014, Szabados again played three games, and again won the semifinal and final games. She held off a heavily lauded USA attack in the gold medal game, securing a thrilling 3-2 OT win. This was the third consecutive Olympics in which Canada beat the USA in the gold medal game.
While Szabados will have to share the Cottonmouths’ net with Andrew Loewen next year, it’s clear she has established herself as one of the premier female goalies in the world. Playing with men is just another challenge for her; one she has relished her entire career, beginning in Junior A, continuing through college, and into the pros. Good luck next year, Shannon. We know you’ll look awesome with that new mask!
Sylvie has also designed masks for Martin Brodeur and Kim St. Pierre for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, as well as Mathieu Garon’s Blue Jacket’s anniversary mask. Be sure to check out Sylie Poitras at AirBrushZap’s website for more great work.