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Eight Talented Females Selected to Represent Half of the Penguins Ice Crew


By Jason Seidling
Pittsburgh Penguins

When the weekend began, roughly 80 girls came to the Penguins’ Iceoplex at Southpointe practice rink to try out for the team’s first ever Ice Crew. By the conclusion of Day One on Saturday that list was pared down to 22, and following a more rigorous final session on Sunday, first-year Ice Crew coordinator Laura Spencer was pleased to announce that eight girls were selected to help comprise the co-ed team.

“This is so exciting to have our females picked,” Spencer said. “We picked the top-eight girls and I am just so excited at their talent level. We are going to have a great group this year.”

Not surprisingly, each of the girls who survived the final cut was thrilled to receive the good news.

“This means so much to me,” Dayna Abbott said. “I am just in awe right now. I wish all of the girls could have made it. They definitely picked some great girls.”

“I am ecstatic,” beamed Pamela Gerlowski. “I am such a huge sports fan. I am Pittsburgh born and raised, and I have lived here all of my life. To be on the first Pittsburgh Penguins Ice Crew has me so excited.”

“I am so excited to be a part of this team because I just started working on skating,” said Tara Coyne, a past member of the Penguins Patrol. “It paid off for me, which has me so excited. I was really driven going into this. I am really proud of myself.”

Spencer, a Pittsburgh native who was recently hired to lead the Ice Crew following two years with the Dallas Stars Ice Girls team, said the girls who tried out this past weekend – not just the eight who made the team but all of the girls – were so impressive that the pressure will be on the guys when male auditions are held on Wednesday, August 11.

“The guys are really going to have to bring a high talent level because these women really stepped it up,” Spencer said. “I am excited to see what the men have to bring.”

Once Spencer picks a group of males to join the females in rounding out the squad, she wants the team to begin practicing right away because the Ice Crew will have just a little over a month to prepare for the first preseason game at CONSOL Energy Center on September 22.

“We will be working hard towards getting ready for the Sept. 22 home preseason opener,” Spencer said. “That means that practices are going to be a must. We plan on getting the group on the ice together as soon as possible so that we are ready when that day comes.”

As a veteran of the group thanks to her Penguins Patrol experience, Coyne knows the team will be ready when Sept. 22 rolls around because of the hard work Spencer will put in getting the girls prepared.

“She is amazing,” Coyne said. “She is just what the team needed. They wanted to make the team more energetic for the fans and I think she is perfect for the job.”

Speaking of being perfect for the job, judging by the excitement level of the girls who made the team, Spencer did great work choosing the right candidates who will add to the energy level at CONSOL Energy Center.

“I am looking forward to being involved in the action,” Michelle Moore said. “We have great fans and I can’t wait to help get them fired up during the games.”

“I can wait to come to the games and interact with the fans to get them excited,” Annie Federoff said. “I think I have great people skills to be good at that.”

Perhaps more importantly than the talents the girls will bring on the ice, each of the eight women selected are very accomplished off the ice.

Coyne is a Westminster graduate who was recently hired to teach kindergarten in the downtown Pittsburgh Kinder Care facility, while Federoff, who graduated from Alderson-Broaddus College with a biology major and chemistry minor, serves as a personal trainer while she job hunts.

All of the other girls are also either recent graduates or currently enrolled in local colleges.

Gerlowski graduated from Duquesne University in May with a double major in sociology with criminal justice and integrated marketing communications. Moore, who attended Slippery Rock, also graduated in May and is an elementary education major.

Among those still in college, Abbott is a junior marketing and public relations major at Duquesne. She hopes to do PR for a successful company one day where she can “make a difference for that company.”

Based upon the talents shown on the ice this weekend, and the genuine personality of each girl off the ice, Penguins fans should be happy to know the organization is going to be represented by a first-class team when the Ice Crew makes its debut on Sept. 22.

“I can’t wait to be a part of the whole atmosphere,” Gerlowski said. “I’m looking forward to having a strong bond with all of the girls on the team and being a part of the excitement and energy we hope to bring to the fans. Hopefully we can add to their entertainment value and make them proud to watch us.”

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