Tampa Bay’s Allison Donato, Lightning Girl Captain

Belated congratulations out to the Chicago Blackhawk players and Ice Girls for their 3rd Stanley Cup victory in the last six years. Dynasty accomplishment. My hometown Lightning had a great season and I feel they announced to the NHL they will be a tough out over the next few years.

A secondary reward of following Tampa Bay in the 26 postseason games is that the Lightning Girls became more visible than ever because of all the away watch parties. What started with only 500 fans grew to 18,000 by game 6 of the Cup Finals. Compared to the other majors the NHL has a smaller, but more raucous, fan base. That base grew exponentially in Tampa this year. Success breeds more success, amazing journey, great memories.

After the final game I cornered third year Lightning Girl Captain, Allison, and asked for her reflections on this miracle run season:

Allison, can you run me through the last 12 months?
Allison: “In 2014 when we got swept by the Canadians I was so disappointed, but I knew that the Bolts would get revenge. It is still surreal to me that we made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. It was such an honor to be Captain of the 2014-2015 Lightning Girls team. When I first made the team 3 years ago, I never would have thought that I would get to experience this great season. It is truly a dream come true and something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Is being a Lightning Girl more than cheering on game days?
Allison: “Being a Tampa Bay Lightning Girl is so much more than just dancing at the games with pom-poms. One of my favorite parts about being a Lightning Girl is the one-on-one interaction we have with our fans. We are constantly out in the community representing the Lightning Organization and interacting with people. It’s so much fun to be able to meet and form a relationship with so many incredible individuals throughout the season. Meeting with the young kids is my favorite. It’s really an amazing feeling to know that you are a role model to someone.”

Tell the UC readers about the watch parties.

Allison: “Our Watch Parties during playoffs were insane!!! It really encouraged the community to come together and support our Bolts. We had THOUSANDS of fans come out to our watch parties. It allowed our fan base to grow, which is great!”

Will we get to see you for another season?

Allison: “Sadly, this was my last season as a Lightning Girl. The Lightning Organization has been such a huge part of my life for 3 years and I am heartbroken that this is the end. However, I have some very exciting things happening in my life. In a few months I will be moving to London for 10 months to study abroad at Middlesex University. Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine so I am very excited to start this new chapter of my life.”

I always saw your family at the games!

Allison: “Throughout my 3 years as a Lightning Girl, my family has always been so supportive. They were at every single game supporting the Bolts and watching me. My 6 year old niece, Kenna, would come as well and dance with us. She had her own pair of matching pom-poms and a Lightning cheerleader outfit. I am so thankful that I was able to share this experience with my family and my niece.”

Congratulations from UC to the Lightning Girls and the entire Lightning organization for a great season. I added some 60 photos to our Lightning Girls playoffs album–enjoy.


Allison and her 6 year niece Kenna.


Allison’s final game.








Allison, Isabella, Alyssa and Stefania


Captains Allison and Heather


Teammates Erica and Alyssa

[Lightning Girls Playoffs Gallery]

Photo of the Day – June 15


Former Tampa Bay Lightning Girl and Allen Americans Ice Angel Brooklyn’s teams are having great seasons. Their “Cups runneth over”! The Americans won their third straight ECHL Kelly Cup and the Lightning will try to extend the Stanley Cup tonight

Photo of the Day – June 3


Congrats to Lightning Girl Kelsey on making the Buccaneer Cheerleaders

Lightning Girls Advance To Final Four

The Lightning Girls, along with the players of course, have advanced to the NHL Final Four by giving the Canadians a revenge beating. This is my quote from last year’s playoff elimination loss to Montreal:

“Comprenez-vous? No, I don’t understand how the Lightning’s great 101 points season could end up in a playoff sweep loss to the Les Habitants! It’s all french to me. BUT, wait until next year, the foundation is set.” Wow, what a prognosticator!!!!

The next opponent is the Blue Shirts from Broadway. Unless the Rangers borrow the Knickerbocker’s City Dancers this Cheer competition is the Lightning’s by default.

March on to the Stanley Cup.

We added many photos to our playoff album, enjoy.

1 Alexis


2 Rachael and Heather

Rachael and Heather

3 Taelor-Kelly-Alyssa

Taelor, Kelly and Alyssa


4 Cher


5 Alyssa


6 Allison


7 Erica


8 Lightning Girls

Allison, Megan, Isabella, Alexis, Rachael, Heather, Alyssa and Kori


[Lightning Girls Gallery]

[Tampa Bay Lightning Girls]

Tampa Bay Lightning Girls At Start Of NHL Playoffs



The Lightning Girls And Their Junior Cheerleaders

I mentioned a few times how I feel that the Jeff Vinik Lightning organization does a nice job in creating a great fan environment for the Storm and Lightning games. My last trip to Amalie Arena was during the kid friendly weekend where the game times on the Saturday and Sunday were pushed up to 5pm. I knew the youngsters would be at the free popcorn stands but to see them cheering all the action with enthusiasm was fun to observe. The Lightning are nurturing another generation of hockey fanatical’s.

I posted an additional batch of Lightning Girl photos—they took the juniors out on the ice for a performance.

Oh yeah, Lightning 5 to 3 over the Anaheim Ducks.



Heather, squad captain






Alexis and Megan


Isabella and Cher


Erica and Kori




Allison, squad captain

[Lightning Girls Gallery]

[TB Lightning Girls]

Photo of the Day – February 10

Rachael and Kelly

Sister, Sister in Tampa. Lightning Girls– Rachael and Kelly

Tampa Bay Lightning Girls Unveil 2015 Calendar

The Lightning Girls 2015 Calendar is now available, check it out at link below.

Here’s some photos from a recent Lightning victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

1 Megan


2 Allison


3 Rachael


4 Alyssa


5 Allison


6 Erica and Megan

Erica and Megan

7 Kelsey, Cher and Isabella

Kelsey, Cher and Isabella

8 Heather and Rachael

Heather and Rachael

9 Kelly, Miss March

Kelly, Miss March (photo by Scott Audette)

[Lightning Girls Gallery]

[TB Lightning Girls]

[Lightning Girls Calendar]

Lightning Girls Sizzle In Tampa Bay

The NHL season is in full swing and the Lightning Hockey Club is on top of the Eastern Division standings. As hot as Tampa Bay is playing the Lightning Girls are also burning up the downtown Amalie Arena to near sell out crowds. Great entertainment evening—come on out to a game.

We added a large batch of photos, from multiple nights, to our album. Enjoy.


Cher and her future replacement





4-Rachael and Isabella

Rachael and Isabella



6-Taelor and Kelsey

Taelor and Kelsey

7-Kori, Erica and Stefania

Kori, Erica and Stefania


Heather, Taelor and Kelly



[Lightning Girls Gallery]

[Tampa Bay Lightning Girls]

Photo of the Day – December 16

Lightning Girls in their Holiday Winter Whites
Kelly, Alyssa, Stefania, Rachael, Allison, Kori, Erica

Meet The Lightning Girls Of Tampa

October is the Sport Fanatic dream month. MLB, NFL & NHL all in action.

The Tampa Bay Lightning started their very optimistic season with an opening night overtime victory against the Florida Panthers. Kudos to the players but of course the Lightning Girls are also doing their part as the newly named Amalie Arena is rocking with cheers.

The fan favorite 14 member squad is led by captains Heather and Allison. Enjoy the photos from the first week.



CoCaptain Allison


CoCaptain Heather

3- Erica and Kori

Erica and Kori

4-Isabel and Rachael

Isabella and Rachael











[Lightning Girls Gallery]

[Tampa Bay Lightning Girls]

Photo of the Day – September 30

Tampa Bay Lightning Girls at Saturday’s FanFest. Captains Allison and Heather are bottom left.

Les Canadiens de Montreal Sweep Tampa Bay Lightning

Comprenez-vous? No, I don’t understand how the Lightning’s great 101 points season could end up in a playoff sweep loss to the Les Habitants! It’s all french to me. BUT, wait until next year, the foundation is set.

The Lightning Girls are a very cohesive group of talented young ladies who obviously enjoy their entertaining gig and the sorority friendships they have established. Hope to see most of them back next season. I added some season end photos to the back of my album. Enjoy.


Crystal, Co-captain



Alexis, Kori & Megan

Erica & Isabella

Alyssa, Allison & Heather

Stephanie, Allison, Kelsey, Heather & Crystal

Heather, Marissa (Co-captain) & Cher

Courtney, Kelsey & Stephanie

[Lightning Girls Gallery]

[Lightning Girls Website]

All In The Family For Tampa Cheerleaders

It’s all in the family for these attractive Tampa cheerleaders. Karen Bittinger of the Buccaneers and her younger sister Alyssa, a first year Hockey Lightning Girl, are both energizing the Tampa Bay fans into rooting for their respective teams.

Karen has been dancing on the Buc’s sideline for the last 3 years and prior to that was skating and performing as a Lightning Girl over 4 seasons and also did a stint as a member of the Rays cheer squad at Tropicana Field. A line co-captain the last two years, Karen narrated the Buccaneer’s nutritional and fitness education presentations on the team’s web site. Karen is a certified fitness professional who teaches group BodyAttack, a high intensity cross fit cardio exercise program. She proudly admits to being a passionate gym rat so look her up if you’re ready to tackle your overdue new year resolution to get into shape.

Sweet baby sister Alyssa also exhibits great athleticism as she won Summit, held at Disney World, the largest national (maybe world?) cheerleading competition. Alyssa maintains a very busy schedule between cheering, coaching, work and college classes. Along with Karen, Alyssa enjoys training and mentoring youth for the nationally acclaimed Florida Top Dog All Stars (cheer performers). Alyssa is getting to experience the added excitement of NHL Playoffs this year and Karen will be cheering on the cheerleaders.

These two women are intense and competitive so of course I had to ask some tough questions–who’s abs are tighter, who’s prettier? They both got one vote each. Haha. Two classy, talented young ladies–they represent Tampa Bay well. Their photogenic features make my job easy.

Karen & Alyssa representing their teams at Tampa’s Gasparilla Parade

Karen & Alyssa coaching at cheerleader tournament

Karen at last year’s draft day party

Thank goodness Karen doesn’t know when to come out of the rain

Karen during 2013 season

Alyssa at opening game of playoffs

Alyssa pregame on the Thunder Plaza

Alyssa with teammate Isabella

[Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders]

[Tampa Bay Lightning Girls]

Photo of the Day – April 16

Lightning Girls Crystal, Kelsey, Kori, Marissa, Heather are going to the Playoffs tonight.