Well it’s funny because I was originally really intimidated. It was my idea, and I get there and I’m a little bit scared, and these are pro athletes, and am I going to look stupid. But the guys have been more nervous than I have been. And I guess when I think about it I put them in kind of a weird position because they talked to me about it and said, we don’t want to be the jerk who hurts Miss Virginia, and we don’t try to score on her because that’s less money for charity (money is donated per shot blocked), and if they try really hard to score a goal on me and I block it, then they’re going to get made fun of. So I’ve put them in kind of a weird position, and I never really thought about it that way. I apologize guys, but it’s for a good cause.
You did a shootout with the Washington Capitals, right?
I did. Sean Collins and Dave Steckel shot on me, and they used to play for Ohio State, so we had a big-10 rivalry thing going on. They won, but they also play in the NHL, so it’s ok.
What it is like facing an NHL player as a goalie?
It was intimidating even though they didn’t go full-out on me. I was trying to get myself all pumped up about it, but it’s something that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life and I can tell my kids Mom was on the ice and faced shots from NHL players.
Who’s better: Crosby or Ovechkin?
Ovechkin, hands down. And I’ve met him too, he’s a cool guy.
Last question, do you still have all your original teeth?
Hahaha, I do. I have a nice mouthguard and a phenomenal helmet that keeps me protected.
Below are some extra pictures of Tara in action on the ice and at the Miss America pageant. Click on the image to blow them up.
*Special note: The Miss America Program is the largest provider of scholarships to women in the world.