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Sister Act

by Deborah Lew / Los Angeles Kings

The odds of a hockey player getting drafted by an NHL team is greater than the chances of an audition hopeful earning a spot on a promotional team of one of the League’s 30 clubs, given that only roughly half of the teams employ entertainment crews.

That said…what are the chances that a pair of sisters would make the same squad together?

Don’t ask LA Kings Ice Crew Members Taylor and Emma, sisters, who clearly gave no consideration to the slim probability that they would both be named part of the Crew when they showed up to auditions last July.

“The thought process behind choosing Taylor and Emma for this year’s team was not much different than the thought process behind choosing any of the other Ice Crew members,” says Brooklyn Boyars, the Kings’ Senior Manager of Game Presentation and Events. “They both have very distinct personalities and different strengths and weaknesses, so evaluating them both as individuals was quite easy.”

Taylor, two years Emma’s senior, almost to the day, is more reserved and subdued than her sister.

“I would rather go watch a movie and Taylor would rather stay in on a Friday night and read,” says Emma who is the self-proclaimed “wild child.”

While Taylor graduated from CSU Channel Islands this past May with an undergraduate degree in Institutional Sociology and a minor in Political Science, she has put furthering her education on hold in order to focus on her new job with the Kings Ice Crew.

“I would really like to be a nurse, so I am actually starting school again this spring, working towards my RN, and in the long run finishing with a BS in Nursing,” says Taylor, who admits she is more of a “book worm” than her sister.

Emma currently attends College of the Canyons and is contemplating majoring in business or sports medicine -- possibly both.

“We both are very caring and passionate about what we do, whether it’s sports or school,” Taylor concedes.

The sisters, who have no other siblings, grew up around sports and both played soccer. Taylor played roller hockey as a kid and now plays ice hockey in a Tuesday-night pickup league, where she and her father are helping to show Emma the ropes.

Although Emma is just now learning to play hockey, she is no newbie when it comes to the sport.

“I am a Kings fanatic. My family has loved the Kings as long as I can remember,” Emma states.

Taylor recalls a similar experience: “I grew up watching the games with my dad as a huge Luc Robitaille fan,” she says.

Both girls currently live at home with their parents, which is something new for Taylor, who moved back last August after being away the last three years for school and work.

“When Taylor was away, Emma had the run of the place. There’s been a period of adjustment, but actually, it’s been great because I think that they’ve both learned to be more tolerant of each other and of others by being under the same roof,” says Don, the girls’ father who recently retired after more than 30 years as a firefighter.

Coming from a close-knit family that travels together often is something that both girls are grateful for, and they often have the support of their parents in the stands during Kings home games.

“The fact that they can enjoy this as a family and that they’re well-supported just makes the experience that much more valuable to them, which in turn, enhances the effort and commitment they put into the Ice Crew team and the Kings organization as a whole,” says Boyars, currently in her fourth season managing the Ice Crew.

Regardless of whether they believed they could make the team together or not, Taylor and Emma are making the most of an experience they know is special, and not just by carpooling.

“This experience is amazing and I am even more blessed to have my sister by my side. She is my rock when I need to be held down and my strength when I need to be lifted up. It couldn’t be better,” says Emma, whose favorite part about the Ice Crew is that proceeds from all their efforts go to the Kings Care Foundation.

“We don’t always work the same events, so we come home and chat about our days, and in some ways if she weren’t on the team with me, those would be way different conversations,” admits Taylor, who particularly enjoys the team aspect of the Ice Crew.

“It’s been a great experience for them,” says mom Karen, a nurse. “It’s been a great growing experience and I think the organization is great and they’re enjoying themselves.”

So is there ever any feuding between the girls who occupy the month of November in the newest LA Kings Ice Crew Swimsuit Calendar?

“She takes my stuff,” Emma blurts out with no hesitation, which causes both girls to erupt in laughter.

“That’s mine!” Emma shrieks, pointing to the belly button ring that Taylor had chosen to compliment her Ice Crew uniform.

It’s good to know that although their sisterhood has been thrown into a whirlwind of rare opportunity, there is still some sense of normalcy.

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