By Cary Shuman
Skating runs, or should we say, skates, in Kim Merrymanâ€™s family.
Kimâ€™s grandmother, the late Carolyn Smith, was a professional figure skater. Her mother, Paula Merryman, was a skater, and in fact, taught Kim how to skate, enrolling her in the Winthrop Figure Skating Club when she was young.
Her older sister, Jennifer, was also a figure skater, and her brother, Ronald, was a member of the Winthrop High School hockey team.
Tonight at the TD Banknorth Garden when the Boston Bruins open the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens, Kim Merryman will be keeping the familyâ€™s skating tradition and affinity for the ice going strong when she takes her customary spot as captain of the Boston Bruins Ice Girls, a skating and dance team that performs on the ice and does promotions at games, such as tossing complimentary T-shirts into the audience.
Merryman, 26, who lives in Winthrop, is in her second season with the Ice Girls. She earned her position on the team after being interviewed and participating in skating and dancing auditions last fall at the TD Banknorth Garden. More than 150 candidates tried out for the team.
Merryman attended Winthrop Middle School and is a Class of 2001 graduate of Winthrop High School, where she showed her athleticism as a member of the softball and tennis teams. She attended St. Anselm College in New Hampshire and received a degree in English with a concentration in Spanish. She works as a client service representative for a marketing data intelligence company in Boston.
A hockey fan, Merryman said she had attended a Bruins game two years ago and saw the Ice Girls performing on the Garden ice. â€œI thought to myself, â€˜I can do that,â€ she said.
In addition to her work at Bruins games, Merryman also appears at promotional events on behalf of the team. The attractive 5-foot-2-inch skater is often called upon to sign autographs and pose for photos with Bruins fans at events.
â€œWe just try to go to these events and mingle with the crowds and support the Bruins,â€ said Merryman, who joined the Bruins mascot, Blades, at the April 3 event for the Katie Jeter Family Fund at Larsen Rink.
Kim isnâ€™t the only Merryman involved with the team. Ronald Merryman is not only supporting his sister in her newest pursuit, but he trains the Ice Girls in a weekly conditioning session at the Boston Athletic Club (BAC), where he works. The BAC is a sponsor of the Ice Girls.
Kim Merryman said sheâ€™s looking forward to the Bruinsâ€™ first-round series with the Canadiens. â€œI am ecstatic about the Stanley Cup series with Montreal,â€ she said. â€œLast year during that first round series with Montreal, the level of excitement was amazing. I think that this year, it can only get better. There are more fans out there now. Itâ€™s going to be awesome. I hope itâ€™s the year that they can bring the Cup back to Boston.â€