It always seems like the forwards and defense always get the glory of doing something first but sometimes, it’s the goalies who have made their mark and made hockey history.
1. Karen Koch – “I can’t remember when I wasn’t playing hockey"
This woman is the first woman to play professional hockey. Karen Koch, a Michigan native played for the Iron Rangers which was a team in the USHL during the 1969-1970 seasons. Ms. Koch, who made hockey history I feel, was over shadowed during her one year in the USHL because of what the Boston Bruins were doing that year. On top of it, Ms. Koch was brave enough to play with no mask. I would have loved to have seen her have a longer hockey career. Imagine what would have happened if women’s Olympic hockey was contested back during her career? She would have made it very difficult for Canada. She opened the door for women’s hockey and should have the IHHF taking a good look at her for their Hall of Fame.
2. Manon Rheaume
Manon Rheume is probably the most successful female goalie to date. She signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL and is the only woman to hold a NHL contract to date. Ms. Rheume was also part of the 1998 historical contention of the first time women’s Olympic hockey was contested. Even though Canada won silver, she still accomplished more than what most at the time did for hockey. She is also another hockey pioneer because she participated in the Western Women’s Hockey League, the major powerhouse for professional women’s hockey back then. This is another woman who I feel is Hall of Fame material. Now, Tampa needs to make her jersey so all can add it to their hockey jersey collection even if you are not a Tampa fan.
3. Shannon Szabados
Shannon Szabodos is the most recent women to have success in women’s hockey with success during the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games and signing a contract with the SPHL, a professional men’s hockey league right after Sochi. Now what makes her notable is she has been that she has attracted the attention of the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL in both 2010 and 2014 but did not happen for her. This has caused the organization to come under fire from the media like the Edmonton Sun. If she keeps it up, she will most likely be the Manon Rheume of this decade and could become a hall of fame contender.