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Hockey trailblazer looks to inspire next generation

QUEBEC CITY (660 NEWS) — On Sept. 23, 1992, Manon Rheaume made history as the first woman to play in an NHL game.

The eyes of the sporting world were focused on the goaltender when she suited up for the Tampa Bay Lightning in exhibition action versus the St. Louis Blues.

“My whole training camp, my favourite memory was the first time I stepped on the ice in that mini-game,” she recalled on a recent Rogers Hometown Hockey stop in Quebec City. “A lot of attention was on me. I knew that first time on the ice was important to be accepted by the players and to be taken seriously.

“That was my turning point. I gained confidence going into that exhibition game.”

She would later win silver at the 1998 Olympics and capture two World Championships with Canada.

Where is the trailblazer now?

Things have truly come full circle for the 48-year-old. Rheaume was the first girl to play at the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. Fast forward to February 2020 and her son is taking part in the renowned event.

She’s also coaching in the Detroit area, where she lives.

She’s also an author. Her autobiography came out in 1993 called ‘Manon: Alone in Front of the Net.’

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But, she’s looking to connect with a new generation of athletes with ‘Breaking The Ice: The True Story Of The First Woman To Play In The National Hockey League’, set to come out this fall, featuring an afterword she penned.

“A lot of people today don’t know my story,” she admitted. “The young girls, they read about, but they were not aware of it. So hopefully, they can read that story and believe they can achieve anything they want if they work hard and put their mind to it.”