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by Thomas LaRocca / Los Angeles Kings

Talents displayed at beauty pageants typically vary from singing to dancing or playing a musical instrument.

Perhaps a little ventriloquism might be on exhibit from time to time or maybe some juggling presented every now and then.

But to have the contestants taking slap shots? Now that is...highly unordinary.

Well that's exactly the talent that 20 'highly unordinary' women displayed on Thursday night, with each taking shots on goal during an intermission fundraiser at the Kings-Blackhawks game as the 51 contestants for the Miss USA 2007 pageant, as well as the reigning Miss USA, Tara Conner, made a stop at STAPLES Center in the Kings 4-3 shoot out loss to Chicago.

"This was my first hockey game, and to make my first shot, I was really excited," Conner said. "I just didn't want to be the only one to miss."

Granted, Miss USA guidelines do not require a talent portion of the competition, but it was still a great opportunity to showcase their skills.

"I was pretty impressed with my skills, I made it," Miss Georgia (Brittany Ryan Swann) who was at her first hockey game, said. "Hockey is kind of like football, but when you add the ice factor, you got to give them more credit."

But not all of the Miss USA contestants were hockey rookies. Miss New York, Gloria Sophia Almonte, grew up playing street hockey and Miss District of Columbia, Mercedes Catherine Lindsey, is a Capitals fan.

"I am new to hockey," Miss D.C. said. "I am a new Caps fan and Donald Brashear is awesome.

"I hear he is a really nice, gentle guy."

Though Miss D.C. loves to attend Capital games, as long as she gets seats on the ice, her heart belongs to the NFL's Washington Redskins, being that she is dating starting quarterback Jason Campbell.

Of the 20 girls, 17 converted on their shot attempts, with three near misses.

The names of those that missed will not be disclosed, to protect the...innocent.

The Kings Care Foundation donated $100 dollars for every goal scored and $50 dollars for every miss to Head to Hollywood, Carmen Electra's charity for brain tumor survivors and their families, raising $1,850.

In addition to the intermission competition, Electra, along with Ryan Seacrest and MTV reality star Lauren Conrad, hosted a post-game VIP party with all proceeds benefiting Head to Hollywood, raising over $20,000.

"It was really great," Miss California, Megan Yvonne Tandy, said of the intermission competition. "I was so surprised that I made it and everyone was cheering."

But the real competition for these ladies will be next Friday, March 23 as the new Miss USA is crowned live on NBC.

Unfortunately, the Kings will be in Chicago playing the Blackhawks at the United Center that evening.

While Miss Georgia suggested the game be rescheduled, when Miss California was asked of her plans for March 23, she replied, "I have to be on stage, we get to compete for Miss USA.

"What, you are not going to watch the pageant?"

Well, there is another solution.

"Hey there is a thing called TiVo," Miss D.C. quipped.

For more information on the Miss USA Pageant, log on to
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