On September 23rd, 1992, Manon Rheaume, a 20-year-old female goaltender, made history by becoming the first woman to play in a major league hockey game. She played one period and allowed 2 goals on 9 shots in a Tampa Bay Lightning vs St. Louis Blues. She became the first and only woman to play in an NHL game, preseason or regular season.
Earlier this year, Rheaume told the NHL:
“Now, looking back, I realize how big of a deal it was. When I was young and got invited, it happened so fast and I didn’t realize really the impact I would have on people, on history, on everything when I went there. I just went because it was amazing to play at the highest level. Now, looking back, no other female has done that, and not only in hockey, but the four major sports.” (x)
The goaltender has inspired so many people with her story. She was the spark that started the flame for equality in sports. 2019 has been big for Women’s hockey. Hilary Knight, one of the women leading the charge for equality in hockey, remembered Rheaume’s game and said:
“It gave us a glimmer of hope. I just remember it was sort of like, growing up, outside of the Olympics, all we had to watch was the NHL. It’s similar to what it is now, but we’re obviously a part of growing the visibility of the [women’s game].” (x)
Rheaume is a hero to women’s hockey. Now, 27 years later things such as the Dream Gap Tour are helping inspire young hockey payer to shoot for the stars, regardless of their gender.
Rheaume’s game lives on and continues to inspire. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing another female NHL player real soon.
“It’s truly the most nerve-racking moment of my life. I knew my performance was so important. It was not just another game that you just go and play in.” (x)
Featured Image: Sportsnet