by NWHL Media

All-Star forward Brooke Stacey will be sidelined for the remainder of the Buffalo Beauts’ season, and everyone around the NWHL could not be happier. Brooke and her partner, Dylan Smith, announced today that Brooke is expecting their first child.

“We are extremely grateful,” said Stacey. “Although I will miss being around my team, I’m overjoyed to share this news with everyone.”

Stacey will make two final appearances as an NWHL player this season. Announced as an All-Star last month after scoring 8 goals and adding 8 assists in 14 games in her rookie season, the Quebec native will participate in the Skills Challenge on Saturday in Boston. Stacey will be one of the passers in the Accuracy Shooting competition. She will also join her teammates on Team Packer for the introductions at the All-Star Game on Sunday.

“We felt this was a perfect way to celebrate with Brooke, and for her to be around the players and fans one last time this season,” said NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan. “Brooke and Dylan have our complete support. They are part of the NWHL and Beauts families.”

To fill her spot in the All-Star Game, Brooke and the league have invited Riveters forward Cailey Hutchison – Brooke’s best friend and former teammate at the University of Maine.

“I was really touched by the gesture,” said Hutchison. “It’s an honor to step in for my best friend. I’m going to go out there, play my best, and represent Brooke with pride.”

Stacey, the Beauts, and the NWHL were counseled by the medical team at NYU Langone in the decision for Brooke to immediately stop participating in games and practices. Although there are different guidelines for different sports, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is clear that ice hockey should be avoided during pregnancy. Per the agreement between the NWHL and NWHL Players’ Association, Stacey will be paid for the entire season.

“My thanks go out to the Beauts’ staff, players and fans, and to everyone connected with the NWHL for a great first season,” said Stacey.