Tri City Americans Hold Piece of Olympic Hockey History – Only Male, Female Olympic Medal Winners
While many former Western Hockey League players and goaltenders have won Olympic medals for their countries, no other WHL team say they have now have gold medal winners in mens and women's hockey! And, the two gold winning goalies actually played in the SAME GAME for the Tri-City Americans.
Unless you've been living in a case, you've probably heard about Montreal Canadiens tender Carey Price, who shut out the U.S. and Sweden by a combined 4-0 to lead Canada to the men's gold in Sochi, Russia. Price is a former standout for the Tri-City Americans.
But you might NOT know, the Canadian women's team netminder is ALSO a former American. Shannon Szabados played in an exhibition game for Tri-City in September 2002, in which she split time with Price. He was a 15-year old, she was 16. She would later go on to play the final :50 seconds of a regular season game at the beginning of that season, making her the only woman to ever play in the WHL!
After being the first female to ever play in several prestigious Canadian novice and midget tournaments in Western Canada, she caught the eye of Americans GM Bob Tory, who invited her to camp. While she did end up getting released, she went on to a stellar career in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and then on the mens team at Grant MacEwan University in Alberta. She then joined the Hockey Canada program after women's hockey was added to the Olympics.
Of the exhibition game where she shared time with Price, she jokingly noted he gave up four goals, while she only gave up three. While their paths definitely went in different directions, they have stayed in touch via social media. And now with both of them bringing home gold for Canada, the Tri-City Americans can say they have another piece of hockey history. It's most certainly a mark that will never be equaled or exceeded.