Female goalie for Cape Breton Eagles stops every shot in QMJHL debut


The “Rhyah Show” was on full display in Sydney on Friday night as the first female player to take the ice in Cape Breton Eagles franchise history was met with a standing ovation following a debut performance that didn’t disappoint.

Rhyah Stewart, a 16-year-old goaltender from Antigonish, N.S., stopped all 24 shots in 30 minutes of play during a pre-season game against the Moncton Wildcats as she became the first female from the Maritimes to play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

The young goalie, who recently started with Team Canada’s U-18 women’s team in a shut-out victory against the U.S.A., left the ice halfway through the second period with a perfect record.

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“A standing ovation as Rhyah Stewart exits this game after stopping all 24 shots against,” the Cape Breton Eagles posted on social media as hundreds of fans at the Centre 200 took to their feet and applauded her efforts.

The Eagles went on to lose the game 5-3.

In an interview with Global News on Thursday, Stewart described her Eagles training camp experience as “an honour” and said she’s quickly adapting to the higher speed of play.

“It’s something I always strived for, but I never knew if I could accomplish it,” she said.

Scott Gouthro, the goalie advisor for the Eagles, said the teen “hasn’t missed a beat” since linking up with the team after returning from her stint with Hockey Canada.

“If we didn’t think she could (participate), she wouldn’t be here right now,” he said. “She’s earned every right to be at camp here with these guys and she’s done a fantastic job.”

Stewart’s appearance on Friday added her to a list of only three women who’ve made appearances in the QMJHL.

Louis Robitaille, head coach for the Eagles, said Stewart hasn’t looked out of place during training so far and is fitting right in with her fellow teammates.

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“For me, it’s not about boys, girls … it’s to make sure you have the chance if you deserve it, and she does,” he said.

“We felt as an organization that she deserved a shot to be here.”

The Eagles will have one final opportunity in the pre-season to overcome the Wildcats when they travel to the Avenir Centre in Moncton on Sept. 8.

Click to play video: 'Female N.S. goaltender to make history with Cape Breton Eagles'

Female N.S. goaltender to make history with Cape Breton Eagles

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