A female high school ice hockey goalie who was viciously heckled during a game last month returned to the ice Monday night to cheers and a sold-out crowd at a Pennsylvania arena.
Friends, fans, and a former Olympian packed the stands at Lemieux Sports Complex to support the Mars Area High School goalie after she was targeted with vulgar chants from dozens of Armstrong High School students at game on October 28, leaving her in tears.
Her name has been kept private.
The goalie received an outpouring of support after news spread of her treatment on the ice, including an invitation from the Pittsburgh Penguins to host a game at their home rink.
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“It’s pretty, pretty cool. Every time she makes a save this place goes nuts,” former U.S. Olympian Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle told NBC-affiliate WPXI, who was also among the hundreds of supporters in the stands.
Fans were seen waving signs that read “Girls are strong!” and heard chanting positive messages throughout the game.
The Armstrong Area School District said on Monday that they planned to issue a formal apology to the goalie and take action to prevent future incidents from occurring, according to a statement from the Mars Area School District.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League banned all Armstrong High School students from attending varsity games for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs, after its investigation into the heckling incident.