Pennsylvania’s only high school hockey player receives support after being harassed in game

CRANBERRY, Pa – The energy at a Pennsylvania high school hockey game this week was very different from another recent game that left a player in tears.

Students at the arena, located an hour from Pittsburgh, shouted vulgar chants at the Mars High School goaltender, who broke down on the ice, according to WPXI, subsidiary of CNN.

The behavior of students on the opposing team, Armstrong High School, has since led the league to take disciplinary action against the school.

To show their support for the only female athlete on the team, hundreds of community members showed up to Monday night’s game to cheer her on.

“We appreciate the outpouring of support for him and we join with many people in expressing our support,” he added. The Mars Hockey Club board of directors said in a statement this weekend. “We are proud of our goalie both as a student athlete and for her resilience to persevere in these trials.

As the sold-out crowd couldn’t keep up in the Mars arena, the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins invited more than 800 fans to fill the stands at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, Pa.

The women’s goalie’s resilience even caught the attention of Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle, a two-time Olympian and goaltender for the United States women’s hockey team, who attended the game.

“It’s pretty, pretty cool,” she told WPXI. “Every time she makes a save, this place goes crazy!” “

The humiliating and sexist taunts about the goalie and her body from some fans during the Oct. 28 game took a toll on Armstrong’s students and their hockey team.

The Pennsylvania Interschool Hockey League gave CNN an overview of disciplinary measures, including banning Armstrong students in grades 9 to 12 from the remainder of hockey games in the 2021-2022 season and the requirement to a faculty member or administrator to attend home and away games. monitor bad behavior from spectators. Siblings of hockey players can still attend games with a parent or guardian, the league noted.

Armstrong’s hockey team, the River Hawks, are also on probation for the remainder of the season, which includes the playoffs, according to the league.

The school principal described the incident as “very disturbing”, according to WPXI, and mentioned that the administration had since contacted the goalkeeper to apologize. CNN has asked the school for comment.

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Catherine J. Martinez