This southern country blonde hair green eyed girl is a Plant City native. Crystal is a cume laude graduate for the University of South Florida where she majored in Elementary Education. Crystal is a four year veteran and captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning Girls. Crystal has represented her team being featured in Sports Illustrated, was chosen as the cover/centerfold in Sideline Distraction Magazine, featured in the Fourth Period Magazine, was chosen in Blitz Weekly as the hottest ice girl in NHL, and several other prints.   

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How long have you been a Lightning Ice Girl, and what motivated you to join the team?

I am blessed to say that I just wrapped up my fourth season as a Tampa Bay Lightning Girl. This was my first year as captain. There are many reasons why I wanted to audition to be a Lightning Girl. The Lightning organization truly is a world-class organization. The Lightning Girls are young women that are the face of the franchise and ambassadors of good will in our community. They recognize the importance of community outreach, charity involvement, and proudly give back to our community. The team is passionate about the sport of hockey, living a healthy lifestyle, and making a positive difference in the community. Seeing the girls in the community as well as at the games, I knew that I wanted to be apart of something so amazing and prestigious.

Photo credit ~ Left & Right - Michael Cairns: Wet Orange Studio

What kind of fun things do you ladies do during each game? Are you on the ice? 

            Every game is memorable and so much fun for all of us girls.  We are constantly dancing, interacting, and cheering on our team in the aisles with all of our die-hard fans. We truly love being at the games with the fans-their smiles, high fives, and cheers truly excites us.  Their high energy and passion for the game is so inspiring. We also have the opportunity to help pay tribute to many of things the Lightning Organization acknowledges during each game. 

Photo credit ~ Left - Michael Cairns: Wet Orange Studio | Right - Scott Audette

What's one of your funniest memories about being an Ice Girl?

            Our team is so fortunate that we are close girlfriends in and outside of the Lightning.  We are always together!  We plan monthly outings/gatherings.  This year we have enjoyed beautiful beach days, a Halloween dress up party, scavenger hunt all over Tampa, nerdy vs. retro bowling competition, and so much more.  In the midst of all of the events, there are many fun and crazy moments that were made. 

Photo credit ~ Left & Right - Scott Audette 

 Away from the rink, what does your team do in the community?

The Lightning Organization is passionate about connecting and giving back to the community.  We are constantly with the fans at watch parties, parades, and numerous charity appearances.  It is so wonderful to be apart of the amazing charity initiatives and outreach programs the Lightning is involved with. This season we were definitely out and about in the community even more as we help recognize and celebrate the Lightning’s 20th Anniversary.

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What do you do when you're not an Ice Girl? 

            Aside from the glitz and glamour of being a Lightning Girl - I am a kindergarten teacher.  I enjoy spending my time with family and friends, volunteering, line dancing, cooking, fashion, country concerts, mentoring, and traveling. I am extremely active, whether it's crossfit training, dancing, running marathons, and yoga. I am an active member at the Crossing Church in Tampa.  Even though it seems like I am a prissy girlie girl, I actually am a country girl at heart that loves to hunt, fish, and ride four wheelers.  I enjoy extreme sports such as scuba diving, wakeboarding, and snow skiing.  

Photo credit ~ Left & Right - Michael Cairns: Wet Orange Studio

Greatest accomplishment in your life thus far:

Graduating college and excelling with my academics is a huge accomplishment. However, teaching is by far the most fulfilling accomplishment. Making a difference in the lives of children is incredibly rewarding. My students are such a blessing in my life.

Photo credit ~ Left & Right - Michael Cairns: Wet Orange Studio

You ladies are an obvious eye-catcher. Are you approached often by hockey fans trying to hit on you girls? How do you deal with that?

            Thankfully, the fans are always respectful and treat us as the classy women that we are.  Lightning fans and the opponent fans are always so friendly.  We take those compliments and try to give back by taking pictures with any fan, signing autographs, and being the best representatives we can be for our team.   

Photo credit ~ Left - Stephanie Brannon | Right - Scott Audette

What's your favorite part of being on the team?

I love absolutely everything! I’m so blessed to be on a team with 12 other talented and beautiful women. I am honored to represent the greatest organization in the NHL! Nothing beats getting to do what you love in front of our supportive, energetic, and loyal fans! It's amazing to be in a position where I can exercise my passion for performing while being an ambassador within my community.

Photo credit ~ Left | Right - Michael Cairns: Wet Orange Studio

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Lightning Girl Auditions - link/video: July 21st, 2013 @ Tampa Bay Times Forum 

Lightning Girls Audition Information Lightning Girls Audition Information

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