Click here to check out the Ducks Girls on Sports Illustrated!
Nearly 200 women from across California will be participating in this year’s MISS CALIFORNIA USA competition with the hopes of advancing to the national competitions. The winner of MISS CALIFORNIA USA® will go on to compete at the national MISS USA® competition which will be televised live on NBC.
This year, five current or former professional cheerleaders will be competing in the event.
Shelbi Buchholz – Miss Greater San Diego, San Diego Charger Girl
I have been fortunate to photograph four of these amazing women: Shelbi, Jenny, Alexis, and Brittany.
The MISS CALIFORNIA USA® pageant will be held in Long Beach, California at the Terrace Theater on January 9-11, 2015 and is open to the public. Tickets for all three pageant events are available via ticketmaster.com.
For more information on the Miss California USA pageant, please visit their website here.
Profiles and individual photos now online. Click here and check ’em out!
By Eric Stephens
ANAHEIM – As she walked toward the metal building and the goal that was inside, Ashley Abate didn’t hide her nervousness.
Abate was a member of the Ducks’ popular Power Players squad during the 2010-11 season but she took off a year to take on a new task – being a mom to her now 10-month-old baby girl Zoe.
Now it is time to get back in the action.
“The thing is, which I think it’s why I get nervous, it’s because you never know what all these awesome girls bring,” Abate said. “You never know who’s a better skater or who has the experience on camera or on the ice. You honestly just never know. Every girl here has a different strength.
“And that’s why you have to really make your personality show.”
Personality was on full display Saturday at Anaheim Ice as dozens of females took to the rink to show the judges that they’ve got the stuff to be part of the next group of Power Players for the 2012-13 season. Fourteen are ultimately chosen to make up the new team, which has a host of responsibilities during the NHL season.
The Power Players meet and greet fans during each Ducks home game, cleans up the Honda Center ice surface during stoppages in play and makes a number of appearances on behalf of the club in various community events.
Erica Johnson said she used the experience of being part of last year’s group to change her major at Cal State Fullerton to communications “because I just love talking to people and hearing their stories. It’s just changed me as a person and it’s made me want different things in life.”
Now a veteran, Johnson remembered how she felt the first time she auditioned for a gig she now loves.
“I love seeing all the new girls and the fresh faces,” Johnson said. “Just the people who are so excited to try out. Because I’m excited to try out every year so it’s nice to see there’s other people on the same level.”
Jennifer Dixon was trying out for the second time and thought she had “a better chance of getting noticed.” But she didn’t want to “jinx it.”
“I’m going to hope for the best,” said Dixon, 23, of Rancho Santa Margarita. “If I don’t make it, there’s always next year.”
Abate said the on-ice duties for the Power Players are harder than it looks even though she has to keep a smile on her face. But shoveling up after guys competing hard was just one part of something she’s hoping to get back to doing.
Besides, Abate wants to show that a mom can be sexy enough to appear in the Power Players’ swimsuit calendar.
“It was such a rush,” she said. “It was so amazing. Before games, all of a sudden you would see all the lights come on and you would hear the music. Everything would go dark and then you’d hear the music and see al the guys come out. And just that energy right there is the reason why I loved the job.
“The fans were amazing. It was the best part of the job. Seeing little kids smile and they’d come up to you and say, ‘I want to be like you. I want to be a Power Player. It was amazing.
“I felt like I was part of a family at the Honda Center. You’re so comfortable. And it’s just the best job on earth.”
This week, Sports Illustrated has photos from just about every team that has Ice Girls: the Ducks, Bruins, Flames, Storm, Blackhawks, Bluejackets, Stars, Oilers, Kings, Panthers, Predators, Islanders, Flyers, Penguins, and Lightning. Click here to go there now.
The Anaheim Ducks have posted individual photos of the members of their Ice Crew! Click here to check ’em out.
By Eric Stephens
ANAHEIM – The number of those trying out wasn’t quite as large as last summer’s record number but the energy and hope was just as plentiful among the dozens of young women that sought to become the next Power Player for the Ducks.
In all, there were 62 who started Saturday morning at Anaheim Ice dreaming to find their way onto the final 14-member squad.
Erica Averkieff, 23, is the mother of 10-month old son, Ericson, with her boyfriend and stroller in tow. The nights of cheerleading at Rancho Alamitos High on Friday nights propelled her to chase after a spot where she’d be cleaning up the Honda Center ice surface in front of thousands.
“Everyone can have the same talent but really, I think it’s your personality,” Averkieff said. “You’ve got to stand out. You’ve got to have spunk. You’ve got to make people notice you.
“Everyone can skate. But you’ve got to have personality. You’ve got to have something that people will remember you by.”
The Power Players not only maintain the ice surface during timeouts at Ducks’ home games but they entertain and interact with the fans in attendance while also making appearances in the community on behalf of the team. They’ll also appear in a swimsuit calendar that is sold in the team store and are featured prominently on the team’s website.
It doesn’t pay much – say $13 an hour – but it can also be an avenue to bigger and better things. Just ask Paula Abdul, the one-time famed Laker Girl.
The latest addition to Sports Illustrated’s NHL Ice Crew galleries features the girls from the Pond at Anaheim. Click here to check out the Power Players on the ice!
NBC Sports has lots of photos of NHL Ice Girls on the ice this season. The gallery includes ice crews from the Blackhawks, Ducks, Flyers, Hurricanes, Islanders, Kings, Lightning, Oilers, Penguins, Predators, Stars, and Thrashers. (Mostly the Islanders Ice Girls and Thrashers Blue Crew.) Click here to check it out.
NBC Sports has added a ton of new photos to their NHL Ice Girl galleries. Click here to check ’em out!
Nearly a month after 95 women besieged The Rinks Anaheim ICE to try out for the Ducks’ answer to the Laker Girls, the squad has named its final 14-member Power Player roster.
This was the most competitive tryout in Ducks’ history, drawing also triple the turnout of last season. Six veterans return, while eight rookies are welcomed for this part-time, in-game entertainment job that goes on duty every time the Ducks take the Honda Center ice.
It’s hard work, not to mention, cold work, given that the Power Players dress in low cut, form-fitting clothing that leaves their midsections exposed. Which means these women are in great shape – as well as have great hair and plenty of smiles.
For every game, a crew of Power Players skates onto the ice during breaks in the action, shoveling ice shavings out of the corners and away from the goals. Another crew travels through the Honda Center, interacting with fans for contests seen on the arena’s scoreboard big screen.
A typical night is about six hours. They each make about $13 an hour – and get free parking! But they get to be a part of the game they love and be close to their favorite hockey players, though rules prevent them from having any contact with the athletes.
All of this they learned at this week’s orientation.
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