Hailing from Andover, Minnesota, Amanda Trunzo is recognized for her accomplishments in women’s ice hockey. Like so many other women in hockey, Trunzo is a multi-talented athlete able to branch out, and excel, in other competitions. Among them is the Red Bull Crashed Ice circuit.
In years past, Red Bull Crashed Ice events for female competitors were held in Trunzo’s home state of Minnesota, along with Quebec City. When not on the Crashed Ice circuit, Trunzo is still involved in hockey. Serving an assistant coach on the staff at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, she shares her insights of the game with a new generation of players, eager to experience the same successes she once enjoyed as an exceptional forward.
Having first come to prominence as an elite hockey player at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School near Minneapolis, Trunzo accumulated over 300 points. As a senior, she would be among one of the finalist’s for the Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award.
A former nominee for the Patty Kazmaier Award, Trunzo graduated from Dartmouth University in 2011. Competing for their prestigious Big Green hockey program, she accumulated 127 career points on the strength of 68 goals.
While Trunzo’s hockey resume is one that impresses her young players, they have also found admiration in her Crashed Ice endeavors. The fact that she is able to balance her coaching obligations while competing in such an exhilarating event makes her an empowering role model,
“A lot of them thought it was really cool! Especially being a coach in Minnesota, a lot of the girls know what it is and attend the event every year. They all like to watch the videos and are always asking questions about it!”
One of the most unique elements about Red Bull Crashed Ice (and possibly its legacy) is the fact that so many female ice hockey players have competed in the event. Of note, the first two women’s world champions were both from the rink. Fannie Desforges, at the time a member of the Ottawa Gee-Gees in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, captured the inaugural championship in 2012. She would also be considered one of Canada’s 50 Greatest Ball Hockey Players and recently competed in the finals of the 2015 Clarkson Cup.
The 2013 edition of the women’s worlds saw Dominique Thibault grab the title, while Desforges finished in third. A former competitor with the NCAA’s Connecticut Huskies, Thibault would also capture two Clarkson Cup titles, and compete in a hockey-based reality TV series in the province of Quebec. Fellow Canadian Stephanie Fedoruk, who competed for the now defunct Edmonton Chimos was also among the women of hockey participating in this groundbreaking event.
During the incipient years of Red Bull Crashed Ice, there was no shortage of American women’s ice hockey players also soaring down the track. Among the most notable was former Northeastern hockey player Dani Rylan, who currently serves as the commissioner of the NWHL, a league she helped found earlier this year.
Having once played for the Providence Friars, Rush Zimmerman was also one of the first American women to compete in Crashed Ice. Currently making a name for herself as a photographer, Zimmerman and Trunzo gained a new level of celebrity in the women’s hockey community, helping carve a new chapter for women in sport, while increasing awareness about Red Bull Crashed Ice.
In reflecting on her first-ever Crashed Ice event, Trunzo is quick to recognize that it was an adrenaline rush. There is no question that women such as Trunzo helped inspire other women in hockey to consider the circuit, with the hope of emulating her skill, competitiveness and bravery.
“Absolutely! The feeling that you get every time that you are standing there in the starting gate, getting ready for them to say "riders ready…5 seconds warning" and looking down at 100,000+ fans is an adrenaline rush. I think that is what takes you down the course!”
Discussing the elements about Crashed Ice that Trunzo believes may be points of interest in getting women’s ice hockey players to participate, there also involves humor.
“I think it is the fact that most of us hockey players are crazy! (laughs) I just think it is the fact we have been skating for most of our lives, love competing and doing something where you are still using your hockey skills, but its something so completely different at the same time!
I became interested in Crashed Ice when a group of my Canadian friends and I were watching it on TV out east. They were telling me about it and told me that I needed to get involved in it as they thought I would do well with it. So, when I graduated college and found out try-outs were in St. Paul, I hopped on the opportunity!”
This season, the Red Bull Crashed Ice competition takes on a new complexion, as every event shall feature female competitors (compared to just two events in years past). As competitors are encouraged to obtain sponsorship, Trunzo has found an outpouring of local support. From the outset, her main sponsor is SnoBear out of Isanti MN (snobearusa.com). Subsequently, Trunzo has also found supporters in the likes of TowerFit out of Duluth, Ostego’s Minnesota Premier Builders, Tebco Drywall from Andover, along with Mankato’s Thrivent Financial.
Trunzo shall not only be among an historic group of female competitors, adding even more excitement to Crashed Ice, she was also named to Team USA, an exceptional milestone in her career. Complemented by the remarkable growth in the event, which will see Trunzo compete in Europe, this season promises to be one of great excitement and ambition,
“I am definitely excited to see the growth continue in this sport as it keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. Especially on the women’s side, this is the first year that there will be a complete women’s World Championship Tour that we get to go to Finland and Germany and other parts of the world just like the men. I am honored to have the chance to be a part of Team USA and be asked to be a part of this experience.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated"