Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Illinois icon-chevron-right Chicago icon-chevron-right Jenna Martinelli, 24

Jenna Martinelli, 24

Cityfront Center
By Jake Malooley. Photograph by Andrew Nawrocki. |

So, you’re just walking around town with a hockey stick in that outfit?
Definitely—at least today. I’m headed to a Blackhawks promo event for the playoffs. I’m one of the team’s ice girls. But, you know, this outfit is becoming more a part of my everyday wardrobe.

Did you learn to skate at a young age?
I was raised in Schiller Park, and the Franklin Park Ice Arena is nearby. I pretty much grew up at the rink. My dad and my brother play hockey, and I would watch their games and see girls out there. I said, “That’s what I want to do.” Then I was a poms girl at East Leyden High School.

I didn’t know the Blackhawks have cheerleaders.
People call the ice girls cheerleaders, but we’re not, exactly. We skate out and shovel slush off the rink during time-outs. Mouth guards and blood, too. The guys lose teeth out there a lot. They get mixed up in the slush pile and are thrown out. The fun stories are when you’re on the ice and you get spit on. [Laughs]

Yeah…fun times. Why do women swoon over the NHL’s toothless, bruised canucks?
They’re down-to-earth compared to a lot of other athletes.

So the lumberjack appeal?
Right. It’s that casual look. The grubby beards!

Do you have access to the players’ locker room?
[Laughs] No, absolutely not! We see them in the hallways, but we have our own separate locker rooms.

Is that your full-time gig?
It’s not. I’ve been doing it part-time for three seasons. It takes about two to four days out of the week. I also cohost a TV show on the side called JBTV. I’ve interviewed bands like Saves the Day, Switchfoot, the xx, Bowling for Soup.

Jerry [Bryant, the silver-haired, gnomish main host of JBTV] just wasn’t bringing the sexy anymore?
Oh, come on! He looks exactly the same as he always has!

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