CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) - A sold-out crowd turned out to show support for a local female high school goalie after a video surfaced showing Armstrong High School students chanting vulgar and sexist remarks at her during a game.
The chants towards Mars' goalie happened during a game against the Armstrong River Hawks. The incident gained national attention and ended with banning students grades 7 through 12 at the Belmont Complex for River Hawk varsity or middle school games.
All 850 tickets for Monday night were sold. About a half-hour before puck drop at 8 p.m., there were only 25 left.
Monday night's game between the Mars Fightin' Planets and South Fayette was moved from Baierl Ice Complex in Warrendale to the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex to accommodate more fans. Players from as far as Johnstown and State College attended to show their support for the female goalie. Also at the game were women's hockey players from Pitt, Chatham and Cal U.
"She is unbelievably strong," said Tessa Moore, a hockey player from Wheeling. "If that were me, I would have been a wreck. She's unbelievably strong."
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"I am shocked that this was allowed to happen and that no one stood up," said hockey mom Amanda Moore. "So we are here tonight to make sure this doesn't happen again."
For some in attendance, it was their first high school hockey game.
"It's about solidarity," Brandy Kennedy from McDonald said. "It's not right on so many levels. She's out there doing what I consider the hardest position on the ice, and they are attacking her just because she is a female."
"It was so sad for me to watch it, like what they were saying to her. It made me mad," said Evelyn Jorinscay, a hockey player from Cambria County.
The message on Monday night was sportsmanship, respect and equality.
"Girl hockey players can be just as good as any other hockey players," said Vivienne Volek from Mt. Lebanon. "I think she does a phenomenal job."
"Hockey is a big community and we are a big family," Tom Scherr from Mt. Lebanon said. "We just want to show her this is the whole family coming out to let you know that what happened wasn't right."
On Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Mars team at their home game at PPG Paints Arena.
A family friend told KDKA's Jennifer Borrasso that the goalie did not speak on Monday night because she doesn't want the attention. She just wants to play.
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