After a thrilling weekend of NWHL action that saw a combined 14 goals scored across two games, Buffalo Beauts goaltender Shannon Szabados and Metropolitan Riveters forward Madison Packer have been named VEDA Co-Players of the Week. The decision was not an easy one, as several players across the league, such as Kelly Babstock (1G, 1A), Dani Cameranesi (2G) and Amanda Kessel (5A) had impressive performances.
In Saturday’s matchup, when key points in the standings were up for grabs as the Beauts and Boston Pride faced off, Szabados stood tall, making 30 saves in a 5-0 shutout. The first 25 minutes of the game were scoreless for both teams, as Szabados and the Pride’s Katie Burt squared off in a goaltenders’ duel before Buffalo broke open the scoring. As is customary, many of Szabados’ saves were of the highlight-reel variety.
“I’m honored to be recognized as an NWHL Co-Player of the Week,” Szabados said. “It was definitely a result of great team play in front of me. Overall, it was a big weekend for our team as we continue to grow and improve as the season goes on.”
A three-time Olympian for Team Canada and a captain for the 2019 NWHL All-Star Game, Szabados has been part of a stellar goaltending tandem in Buffalo alongside Team USA Olympian Nicole Hensley. Szabados and Hensley have the two best goals-against averages and save percentages in the league, with Szabados boasting a 1.43 goals-against average and .943 save percentage.
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HETZEL
PHOTO BY BRYAN JOHNSON
In the fourth and final regular-season meeting between the Riveters and Connecticut Whale, the Riveters’ offense exploded for six goals, with Packer finishing with a goal and three assists in the 6-3 win. Packer set up the first goal on the power play, attempting a wraparound that Audra Richards then put away. Just 2:32 later, Packer got one of her own on a breakaway, going top shelf. She then picked up two more helpers, one on Richards’ second power-play tally of the day and one on Miye D’Oench’s first goal of the season.
A veteran of the league, Packer is a four-year member of the Riveters who led the NWHL in goals last season en route to an Isobel Cup Championship. In February, she will compete in her third NWHL All-Star Game.
"It was a great team win yesterday," said Packer. "Everyone was contributing, we played hard as a team, and the points I put up personally are a testament to the game our team had as a group, because there were a lot of names on that scoresheet. It was a fun game to play, and exciting to be a part of. We just have to keep things rolling moving forward."
Check back in on NWHL.zone each week for VEDA Player of the Week announcements!