“One minute remaining in the first period,” comes from the speakers at Pepsi Center. My heart is pounding, my legs are shaking with excitement and in less than a minute we will be on the ice for our first performance of the 2014-2015 season. The horn sounds and we all skate to our spots for the beginning of the program. The lights in the arena go down, and my heart starts beating faster. Avalanche fans, currently pumped up in their seats from a first period shut out by the Avalanche, are watching from every angle, waiting, contemplating what the Avs Ice Girls are about to do. The first beat hits…here we go! “Thriller,” by Michael Jackson is now playing in Pepsi Center as we begin our Halloween performance.
Throughout the month of October we put in hours of hard work with our amazing choreographer Tiffany Dombeck. We had four practices not only to learn a routine, but to perfect it. By the second practice we had learned the entire program and it was time to clean things up. We put the dance to counts and went through it over and over and over again until everyone was stepping at the same angle, with the same arm positions. We practiced our “dead bug” ending countless times, laying on the ice making sure to lift our leg, then our torso, then finally our whole body… boy did that get cold. Of course, practice was never without laughter, from practicing our zombie hands to trying to do the worm on the ice, we were constantly having a blast.
What makes performing at Pepsi Center so special though, is performing in front of the Avalanche fans. Goodness when you guys are having a great time, it’s known! When the music finishes and Avs fans are hooting and hollering for us, it’s just beyond amazing and without you our performance would not be half as exciting. I cannot wait to show you what else we have in store. Here’s to a successful first Ice Girls performance of the season and to a great Avalanche win over the Islanders!
Your Avs Ice Girl,
Yesterday we were given the opportunity to skate at Pepsi Center with some of the children from the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. What an amazing afternoon we had with the children and their siblings and families. Bernie, Alex Tanguay, and Matt Duchene were also out on the ice enjoying the event.
The kids started out by suiting up in their hockey gear, skates first, elbow-pads, then helmets, and last but not least their gloves. It was exciting to watch some of them put skates on for the first time because they were so anxious and just wanted to get out onto the ice as quickly as they could that they didn’t mind if their skates weren’t tight enough. Once they were out there it was off to the races! We spent the majority of our time “racing” the kids around the rink on chairs, starting at the goal line then finishing down at the other. Of course one race is never enough!
It was easy to see that the children were having a blast out there because their brightened smiles went from ear to ear. Not only did some of them start to skate without the help of the chairs but they were wandering over to the penalty boxes and benches checking those out too! Down by the goals the kids were learning how to stickhandle with some help from Tanguay and Duchene.
What’s a cold skate without some drinks to warm you up? Once the kids got off the ice there was some hot chocolate waiting for them after they took off their skates - what a great way to end the night! The end of the event was filled with lots of happy and exhausted faces, along with, t-shirt signings and pictures with Tanguay and Duchene.
When it’s all said and done we are so blessed to have had the wonderful opportunity of spending some time with these magnificent children. Their strength has left a footprint on our hearts and hopefully we were able to leave them with a smile on their face and lasting memories of a great day!
Alex and Paolina
I have anxiously been awaiting this day ever since uniform fittings, and, oh, what a beautiful day it turned out to be! I say "beautiful" not only because the sun was shining, but also because of how gorgeous all of my teammates looked!
Today was the team photo shoot for the second season of your Colorado Avalanche Ice Girls. We arrived one by one to the studio early and hit the ground running. Our new uniforms were in (can't wait for the fans to see them!!!) we had our skates ready to go, and our hair and make-up team were prepped for work. I'd like to take a moment to thank the lovely ladies from Star Salon for all of their help with hair and Cynthia, Denver Make-Up Guru, for her help with make-up. They are completely amazing at what they do.
The morning was filled with individual photos - soon to be on our new autograph cards, small group photos - for the website and such, and hundreds of fun photos/selfies taken by us girls! If you are interested in seeing some of the fun photos, please visit our new... INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT!!!! If you can't tell, we are beyond excited about Instagram. It will be a great way for the team to share some extra behind-the-scenes Ice Girl footage. I'm telling you, you won't want to miss it. @AvsIceGirls is coming soon.
Camera man Rob Hawthorne also deserves a huge THANK YOU! He was so helpful and took some amazing pictures. I'm very lucky to have such beautiful teammates, and we were all very lucky to have an expert there to capture the moments!
When the photos were all done, the team finished up with a quick meeting and called it a day. It feels good to have my uniforms back home with me. Hockey season is in the air, and my teammates and I cannot wait to be back at Pepsi Center with our fans in the stands and our players on the ice.
This season is going to be so amazing. We can't wait to see what the players have in store for the 2014-2015 season. The atmosphere at Pepsi Center will continue to rock, the off-ice events will continue to make a huge difference for the community, and we love being a part of all of it. Is it October yet?!
Welcome to the #AvsNewAge,
June 14th, this was the date that was announced for the Colorado Avalanche Ice Girls auditions. As the date approached I began to prepare myself with skating drills that would help me perform my best and showcase my abilities as a skater. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect that night, but I knew I had to bring my A-game because there were already so many amazing and talented skaters on the team from last year that were trying out again.
With my hair crimped, makeup done, and skates sharpened, I walked into the Ice Ranch confident, nervous, excited and a little jittery. I found my place in the check-in line, resume and head shot in hand, waiting to get my audition number: number 3. This had to mean I would be in the first group of girls to perform, which made my nerves skyrocket! I pinned my number on, took my photo and lined up along the boards. We began the first round of auditions with forward and backwards crossovers and a full sprint down the ice. After my group finished, the other girls who were waiting for their turn screamed and applauded, which gave me just the confidence I needed after my first skate.
Waiting for the judges to come back with numbers of the girls they were keeping through the first cut was daunting. But after hearing my number called I was relieved and ready for round two!
For this round, we started with the shoveling routine that is used during the Avs games to clear the ice. I was lucky enough to be paired with veteran Ice Girl, Samantha, who helped me with the routine. The shoveling was followed with another round of crossovers, both front and back, and lastly quick sprints between the blue lines. After this, the judges surprised us and gave us the option to show off our skating talent in any way we wanted. Naturally, I grabbed my hockey stick and gloves and began to puck handle. Then I finished it off with a penalty shot.
Since there were a variety of skating styles, it was also amazing to see all the figure skaters perform their jumps and spins while twisting their bodies in many directions - all sorts of tricks that I would never be able to pull off on hockey skates. I was very impressed by all the talent that was at auditions, along with all the love and support the girls gave to each other after each group finished skating. To me, this said a lot about the character of the girls here at auditions and made me want to be a part of this group even more!
While everyone waited in the locker room for the judges to deliberate you could tell nerves were high. Was my skating going to be enough? Thankfully though, number 3 played out well for me as I was one of the first to hear my number called through to the interview round.
My excitement quickly turned back into nerves as I didn’t know what to expect of the interview process. How many people will be interviewing me? What type of questions will they ask?
After I received the phone call about making the team I was so ecstatic - I might have even shed a tear! Growing up in the hockey world and loving the game as much as I do, made this a dream come true!
I couldn't be more proud to be a Colorado Avalanche Ice Girl!
Hello Avalanche Nation!
Last season marked the inaugural season for the Colorado Avalanche Ice Girls team. This wonderful bunch of ladies felt extremely fortunate to have been a part of this history making group for the Avalanche organization. We truly valued and enjoyed every minute of supporting the Avs on the ice and out in the community and made memories that will last a lifetime. On Saturday, June 14th, we had the opportunity to try and extend our time with this amazing team at the 2nd annual Colorado Avalanche Ice Girls auditions.
As the sun began to set, dozens of talented hockey and figure skaters piled into the Ice Ranch in Littleton, Colorado. With figure skates and hockey sticks in tow, the girls began introducing themselves to each other. Being on the team last year, the returning Ice Girls hugged and reminisced with one another, while also introducing themselves to those who were new to the process.
At 7:00pm, we were led into the arena where we lined up for registration and ultimately handed in our paperwork in exchange for a numbered audition bib. Being near the ice, with the end goal in mind of remaking the team, took me back to memories of being on the ice at Pepsi Center; feeling the electricity from the crowd and the energy from the game being played, skating across the ice in front of 18,000 people and taking it all in… it gave me a rush of emotions and adrenaline.
After all of the girls received their numbers, we each headed into a locker room to have our pictures taken. We did some last minute hair and makeup touch ups, laced up our skates, and headed to the boards to get in numerical order. We were divided into two groups and were led onto the ice for a few minutes of warm ups.
There were three rounds of skating, with each round seeming to build on the round before. We had to demonstrate our proficiency in forward and backward skating, sprinting and stopping quickly and accurately, and of course, showing our ability to skate with a shovel!
Cuts were made between each round of skating; however, prior to the judges making their final decision, we were able to showcase our skating talents in a bonus freestyle round. The talents that were demonstrated were extraordinary, from hockey and figure skaters alike.
We cleared the ice and anxiously awaited the final round of cuts. I never considered 32 to be a lucky number until that night, since it brought me back to the interview round and ultimately, a second year with this incredible team. The first season on this squad was unforgettable. Your veteran members could not be more excited to return to Pepsi Center in the fall for another unbelievable season, especially with the five amazing rookies that were selected as well! Here's to an exciting 2014-15 hockey season, Avalanche fans!
People have incredible days every day. Some days we meet goals, other days we meet new people, some days we try new things. Sunday, March 23, 2014 was an incredible day for an incredible reason.
We were invited to attend the Avs’ Better Halves Charity Brunch in Denver. This event recognizes children with medical challenges and gives them a day to forget these challenges and shine.
Upon arriving at the Denver Hyatt Regency Hotel, we were all a little nervous. This was our first time at such a large event and we wanted to make sure everything was perfect. After letting the children and their families get settled at their tables for breakfast, we were so excited to get to know each and every one of them. As we walked from table to table, we were greeted with warm smiles and sunny personalities. Each child had a different story, personality, sense of humor… They made us feel instantly comfortable and set the mood for the rest of the day. Our job was to simply help the kids feel more at ease when it came time to walk the runway, but instead, new memories were created and amazing friendships were formed.
We spent our morning with the children; practicing their runway walks, taking photos with Bernie, and watching as they got their hair, makeup and wardrobes ready for the big show. One of the most remarkable parts of the day for us was watching the kids interact with the coaches, players, and the better halves that they were matched up with for the event. Seeing their excitement and watching them bond with their player was an unbelievable moment!
At one point, a game of tag broke out with two of the little boys. We were hiding from each other, running around tables, and having so much fun. Their laughter was absolutely contagious! It was after they followed the line upstairs for the fashion show that we realized how large of an affect these two children just had on our lives. Every day, they face challenges and fight battles that make “normal” every day challenges, that seem like mountains to most people, look like a piece of sand to them. For them to be so strong and take every challenge they have with such amazing spirits brings tears to our eyes because to us, they are miniature super-heroes. These boys, as well as the rest of the children, will take a piece of our hearts.
Then came time for the fashion show; we listened to the children as they talked through their ideas of funny end-of-the-runway waves or gestures that they had in mind with their player. We tried to help make them feel comfortable with the bright lights and not being with their families to walk the runway. Little did we know, these amazing children would completely open up and be full of confidence when the spotlight was on them and their Av. We saw moves like twirls, spins, coordinated dances, and even a headstand! We were moved by their free-spiritedness and willingness to live life to the fullest no matter what.
This event is put on to give the children a day they will never forget. A day for them and all about them; but at the end of the day, as the families and children leave, we find ourselves just as moved and inspired. We are so thankful to have met these incredible little super-heroes. It is a day that we will never forget.
~Avs Ice Girls
Let’s talk about smiles for a second. A smile is the key to expressing happiness and breaking down language barriers between different people and cultures; the best form of communication. Though we smile without thinking throughout the day, we underestimate the power of smiling. For some people, this can be a challenge. Not because they want to hide their smiles from the world, but because in their opinion, their teeth aren’t pretty or perfect enough. Everyone deserves to be proud of their teeth and share their smiles! This isn’t just a matter of expression, this is a health concern. No one should have to suffer from the pain of dental imperfections. Last week, we got to meet an awesome group of people dedicated to providing dental care and helping create beautiful smiles!
TeamSmile is a non-profit organization that partners with various dentists, sports teams, and healthcare companies to make every stop around the country a special experience. They provide dental care for kids who may not be able to afford the basic check-up or procedure.
When we showed up to KIPP Denver Schools, the entire gym was a dental office filled with many kids who were anxious to go through the process. Dentists and dental hygienists were scattered everywhere, ready to care for the children. Everything was organized by stations; from check-in, to x-ray, to cleanings. There was a DJ on site and we encouraged children to dance with us before and after their visit to the dentist. The “Cupid Shuffle” was the favorite song of the day and we had a blast bustin’ a move!
We were so excited to be involved that day. Most of the children were all smiles, very outgoing, and so sweet! The staff that ran the event was incredible; very patient and made such a huge impact on the lives of the children there. We’re so happy that an organization like TeamSmile can provide such a great service to the community and we are very fortunate to have spent a day with such a wonderful group of students and professionals. Not every kid walked into the gym smiling, but I can guarantee that they all walked out smiling from ear-to-ear with pearly whites!
We want to say thank you to KIPP Denver Schools for having us! TeamSmile, thank you for bringing the community together and doing something so unique to better the world; we had an awesome day with all of you!
-Samantha & Paolina
We got the opportunity to go to Barking Dog Café with Bernie in Lyons, CO. If you recall, Lyons was hit pretty hard with the flooding that devastated much of Colorado in September. One of the first things we saw on Main Street was a group of people packaging bags of supplies and unloading food, water, etc. from a truck. It made us sad but at the same time, wow, what a great community of people! There were adults, children, families, and neighbors volunteering their time and efforts to rebuild the town. It also showed us that the process of recovery and rebuilding from the flood isn’t over yet. Even in the midst of broken roads, damaged homes, and a cold wind sweeping through; Lyons emanated comfort and warmth. We knew it was going to be a great day!
We arrived at Barking Dog Café and began meeting a lot of people from the community. They were all so sweet and welcoming! You would never guess they’d been battling with the consequences of a natural disaster because everyone had a smile a mile wide. Kids came running up, eager to meet Bernie and give him a hug or a high five; it was extremely gratifying. Bernie kept everyone laughing with his silly jokes and the atmosphere was wonderful. He even made some coffee behind the counter! We also met a little girl who was thinking about playing hockey. We told her it’s a sport like no other and that she should definitely start skating! Her dad laughed and gave us high-fives and said, “YES! Thank you!”
It was great to meet some of our fans who we may not have seen yet this year due to road damage. Lyons is a unique community with so many big-hearted people that we felt at home. We were so happy to be there with Bernie and to share this fun morning with them! In this town, even after all they’ve been through; everyone still smiles and says good morning. They embrace the work, they embrace each other, and most importantly, they have positive attitudes. We couldn’t have picked a better group of people to spend my Saturday morning with; hopefully we will see you all soon!
Thank you so much for having us Barking Dog Café and Lyons. We had a wonderful time and you’re an incredible group of people. We admire your hard work and dedication to your community!
-Samantha & Kara B.