Manon Rheaume, LC 12U Girls to compete in Quebec tourney.
It is well-known that Little Caesars AAA Girls 12U coach Manon Rheaume is the only woman to ever play in a National Hockey League game.
But she has also made history in the Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament twice and is about to make it a hat trick.
Rheaume, who was a goaltender as a player, was the first girl to play in the Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament when she was a member of a Boys team in 1984 and the first to coach a Girls team in the tournament (against all other Boys teams) in 2002.
And in the 59th edition of the tournament that has featured countless future NHL stars in Quebec City, Feb. 7-18, 2018, Rheaume will coach in the first game featuring two Girls teams opposing each other.
The date of the game has yet to be announced, but Rheaume's Girls Little Caesars 12U team will face Team Quebec Feminine, which features the best female players of the appropriate age in Quebec. The 2016-17 edition of Team Quebec Feminine reached the final of the Inter B Division in the tournament last February.
The two teams will each play their first game against each other and then each compete in a lower division against Boys teams.
"To be part of a game to expose my players to the same things I experienced there (as a player at the tournament in Quebec) will be great," Rheaume said.
The date, division and time of the historic game will be announced at the tournament's press conference on Jan. 8, 2018, according to its website.
Rheaume, who is from Lac Beauport, Quebec, played in the Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament when she was 11.
"It was unbelievable," Rheaume said about her experience as a child. "Our first game was in front of 15,000 people at the Le Colisee' (the home of the then Quebec Nordiques - now Colorado Avalanche). I was so nervous, my legs were shaking against each other ... You've got media waiting for you when you come off the ice, it's on television and the whole town is behind it.
"You talk to a lot of the players in the NHL who played in the tournament and they say it was the highlight of their lives and we'll be going to get that experience."
In order to prepare to play against boys in the tournament, Rheaume's Little Caesars team is not playing a traditional Tier I Girls 12U schedule this season. She said the squad has already played a Boys AA '05 team from Buffalo, a Boys '06 AAA team from Buffalo and a Boys '05 AAA team from Pittsburgh and will play more Boys AA and AAA '05 and '06 teams throughout the season.
She added Little Caesars 12U has only played one other Tier I 12U Girls team this season but will be facing some of the top teams in that category during an upcoming tournament in Rochester, N.Y.
The team's record this season is 6-2-2.
The area Boys Pee Wee Major teams going to Quebec City are HoneyBaked, Belle Tire, Little Caesars and Compuware.