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Ice Crew Finalists Pumped For Sunday’s Tryout


By Jason Seidling
Pittsburgh Penguins

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The Iceoplex at Southpointe was filled with many smiling faces on Saturday as the Penguins hosted Day One of female tryouts for the team’s first-ever Ice Crew. However, none of the smiles shone brighter at the end of the day than the 22 lucky girls who were chosen to return for Sunday’s final tryout.

Male Ice Crew auditions will be held on Wednesday, August 11.

Ice Crew coordinator Laura Spencer, a former dancer for the Dallas Stars Ice Girls team who is in charge of leading this year’s squad, was ecstatic with both the talent level and the positive attitude the girls brought to the rink.

“I am very pleased with how Saturday went,” Spencer said. “We had a great group of girls who came out. I am really looking forward to Sunday because it is going to be tough to make those decisions.

“The talent both on and off the ice was outstanding on Saturday. The judges rated the girls on their scale of numbers. Once we rated them it seemed like the same girls who were great skaters also did the best in the interviews.”

Needless to say, each of the 22 girls who were chosen as finalists were equally as happy to come back on Sunday as Spencer was to have them back.

“I am ecstatic,” said Michelle Moore, echoing the sentiments of the group. “I am just blown away to be a finalist. I can’t stop smiling inside and out.”

It probably went without saying that these girls were so happy just minutes after receiving the news they woke up on Saturday dreaming of hearing, but another reason a couple of the ladies said they are so pumped up to return on Sunday is the energy and passion Spencer exuberates.

“I think she is so cute,” Kelli Murawski said. “She reminds me of a cheerleader because I was a cheerleader. I just think she is so adorable and energetic out on the ice. It makes me want to be like that.”

Many of the girls who will be back on Sunday competing for final roster spots agreed with Spencer that things went very smoothly on Saturday, especially because this was the first time the Penguins have ever tried assembling an Ice Crew.

“I think that it went great,” Stacey Farkosh said. “It was really well organized considering this was the first time that Pittsburgh has had an official Ice Crew like this. I think Laura did a great job running this. I hope it’s just as smooth on Sunday.”

“I think that tryouts went really well on Saturday,” Murawski said. “I think there were a lot of really talented girls that showed up from Pittsburgh. I didn’t know that we had this much talent in the city. It was so well organized for the first time.”

Judging by the performances we saw on Saturday, Spencer is going to have her hands full paring down a supremely talented group of finalists. As a result, she is going to kick the tryout process up several notches for Day Two.

“Sunday there are going to be more interviews with a lot more questions asked to get a better feel for the girls,” Spencer said. “On the ice they will be skating alone as opposed to groups. They will also have the tools to skate with.”

With less than 24 hours between the two tryout sessions, the ladies probably don’t have enough time for more on-ice practice, but all of them plan to spend Saturday night honing up their Penguins’ knowledge in anticipation for the trivia and team-related questions Spencer promised to throw their way on Sunday.

“I am going to go online and review everything on PittsburghPenguins.com,” Erica Carteal said. “I’m also going to call my brothers – that’s for sure. They grew up playing hockey so I’m going to have them grill me like crazy until my brain is fried.”

“My brother and my dad are going to quiz me all night,” Moore added. “I am a huge hockey fan so I know the basic rules.”

One of the reporters quickly decided to test just how extensive Moore’s knowledge was, so he asked her to name the three years the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup.

“1991, ’92 and 2009!” said Moore before the question could even be completed.

Yes, I think she does know her hockey. But really, should we be surprised at that coming from a Pittsburgh girl?

Absolutely not, and that’s what is going to make Sunday’s final tryout such an amazing experience for each of the 22 finalists as they push each other thanks to each girl’s outstanding skating skills and great understanding of Penguins’ history.

If Saturday is any indication, Spencer and the Penguins are going to have themselves quite an Ice Crew to represent the team in 2010-11.

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