Isabella Palumbo started in her first KIJHL game with the Golden Rockets on Jan. 20. She logged her first win, the team’s third this season with a score of 7-4 at the Golden Arena. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

15-year-old girl nets win in her junor B hockey debut in the Kootenays

Golden Rockets goalie believed to be league’s first girl to play a full game in goal and win

Isabella Palumbo has played on boys’ teams for nearly her entire hockey career. On Saturday night, the 15-year-old goalie shone at the highest level so far, starting in net for the Golden Rockets and logging her first win at the junior B level.

“It was awesome,” said Palumbo of the game the following afternoon.

The Rockets had only two wins heading into Saturday night’s game in Golden. Their first was a win by default on Sept. 8 after the Castlegar Rebels dressed an ineligible player. Their second came on Jan. 5 against the Fernie Ghostriders.

The atmosphere in the Golden Arena last night was unbelievable, said coach Jason Stephens.

A sold-out rink cheered Palumbo’s every save – 41 of them – in a 7-4 against the Columbia Valley Rockies.

“Every time I made a save, the whole crowd went wild,” she said.

Palumbo is thought to be the first female goalie in the KIJHL to play the full 60 minutes and win.

The win is coming at a good time for the Rockets, who are 3-32-1-2 this season.

“The boys have had a rough year,” said Charlene Fairchild, who runs the Rockets’ social media pages.

RELATED: Palumbo stretches legs in net with Junior B Rockets

Palumbo found out last week that she would be starting in net. The notice was to give her some time to prepare for her first KIJHL game.

“We wanted her in a game where she would shine,” said Fairchild.

The timing just fit, said Stephens, as the Revelstoke Minor Hockey Midget Tier 3 team she normally plays with had the weekend off.

She travelled to Creston with the team Friday night and learned about their pre-game routine.

At 5-foot-3’, Stephens said Palumbo does a good job of positioning herself between the pipes.

“Everything was hitting her in the right place,” he said. “She stood tall and played bigger than she is.”

The Rockets signed Palumbo as an affiliate player in December and she’s been attending practices with them about once a week.

“As she practised, we thought jeez, she can really play,” said Stephens. “She kept getting better and better at practices.”

Palumbo faced 12 shots in the first frame, stopping them all.

“She played really well last night,” said Stephens. “She was very solid throughout the game.”

Palumbo allowed one goal in the second period and three in the third.

“It was kind of intimidating at first,” said Palumbo of being in net. “Then it was good.”

Palumbo’s family was in attendance and she said a few got emotional.

Her dad was also a goalie and has helped coach Palumbo for a decent portion of her young career.

“Everybody on the team was really pumped about the win,” she said.

“The boys really rose to the occasion and played for her,” said Fairchild.

It’s likely that Rockets fans haven’t seen the last of Palumbo on the ice this season.

“A lot of it comes down to scheduling,” said Stephens. “We have to always consider what her schedule is like with her own team.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Aspen Park students get into the Spirit (Day)

Friday fundraiser supported upcoming Camp Homewood excursion

NIDES sending two robotics teams to world championships

Navigate squads will be only Vancouver Island reps at VEX World Championships in Louisville

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

Courtenay-Comox MLA talks water bottling business in Merville

Ronna-Rae Leonard remained neutral when asked if she opposes the proposed business

Celebrating our transit drivers on their day

March 18 is International Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

B.C. VIEWS: Speculation tax, cabin tax or asset tax?

Targeting empty homes seems confused and ineffective

Inspections, training needed to prevent repeat of Fernie ammonia leak across B.C.

Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, says one expert

RCMP move to arrest pipeline protesters at entrance to Trans Mountain work site

28 demonstrators began blocking the entrance to Kinder Morgan’s work site at about 10 a.m. Saturday

Most Read