Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Role for Bruins Fits an Ice Star 

Posted by James at 10:00 AM ET

By Marvin Pave
The Boston Globe

Sydney Rooney of Boylston, a former competitive figure skater and a longtime hockey fan, is right at home as a member of the Boston Bruins Ice Girls, a troupe that appears at team promotions and also tosses Bruins souvenirs into the stands during home games at TD Banknorth Garden.

Rooney, a sophomore communications major at Boston College, where she is a member of the figure skating club, had to stop skating competitively two years ago because of stress fractures in her back.

Sydney, Bruins Ice Girls

"It was very disappointing, but it was more important to rest and recover," said Rooney, a West Boylston High graduate who won the US Figure Skating New England Regional championship in 2005 and was third in 2006. She also placed first in the Kempen Trophy Junior Ladies competition in Belgium that year, her greatest feat as a figure skater.

"I started with the Ice Girls last season and it's been awesome," Rooney said. "I work with a terrific group of girls and it's a great year to be able to watch the Bruins. And because we're paid, it helps with my college expenses."

The 19-year-old Rooney was urged to try out for the Ice Girls by a friend on the squad, Samantha Barry of Grafton.

"Being able to skate wasn't a problem for me," Rooney recalled. "What the tryouts really focused on was your personality, how you'd handle different situations, and if you'd be available to work at 31 of the team's home games."

Rooney's responsibilities include helping with a raffle for the Boston Bruins Foundation, participating in the Ice Girls T-shirt toss during breaks in the game, visiting fans in the stands on their birthdays, and accompanying others during seat upgrade promotions. The 20 Ice Girls work on a rotating basis, 14 at each home game.

The Ice Girls also appeared at last Sunday's Bruins Wives Carnival and will be at the "Skate with the Ice Girls" program today from 2:30 to 4:20 at Veterans Arena in Franklin and the same time Feb. 1 at Navin Arena in Marlborough.

Rooney, who put in six hours of daily practice from ages 7 through 18 to hone her skating skills, mainly at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, also grew up a hockey fan.

"Skating was my passion right through high school," she said, "but I also loved hockey and I always rooted for my brothers."

Older brother Tim also attends Boston College, where he plays intramural hockey. Younger brother Greg is a sophomore playing for the Governor's Academy varsity team.

"Even though I have to limit my skating these days, being with the Ice Girls and the BC figure skating club keeps me on the ice, which means a lot to me," said Rooney.

[Bruins Ice Girls]

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