Beauty and brawn. Pretty and powerful. Fire and ice. No pairing of words could be further apart on the spectrum.
Brianna Pedatella — a standout defender for the U-19 Brewster Lady Bulldogs who doubles as a runway model with RED Model Management in New York City — fittingly embodies how young women today don’t have to choose between one or the other at this year’s Fire on Ice tournament.
With more than 100 girls’ teams connecting in Rochester, New York, over the weekend, Pedatella was just one of the many examples of style and strength at Fire on Ice, but definitely a trailblazer that other young girls can aspire to be.
While there are glaring differences in the brute sport of hockey and the glamor of the fashion industry, Pedatella has found a balance between the two worlds, bridging that gap with grace and might.
“For hockey, you definitely practice three-to-four times a week,” Pedatella said. “Modeling, it’s more of an ‘individual sport’ if you were to put it into that aspect. You have to practice on your own, practice your walk for runway or look in the mirror for what side looks good for you. [laughs] That’s actually a thing! So you have to do it on your own, you don’t have anyone else to lean back on.”
A hockey player since the age of eight, Pedatella has come up through the Brewster hockey program, competing in USA Hockey Nationals and spending last season briefly with NCAA Division-I Sacred Heart. At 6-foot and a right-handed shot, her skill set on the blue line is highly-coveted among teams and scouts.
Pedatella’s height is also fawned over in the fashion industry, along with her physique and charming looks. So much so, that at 16-years-old she signed a three-year contract with RED on 37th Street in New York City, and has spent that last three years doing photoshoots for the likes of the New England Patriots, Gongshow Gear and countless runway walks.
“They both are very demanding,” she said. “Schedule-wise, for hockey, you have to be here an hour before the game, you have to mentally prepare. For modeling, I found out that a lot of people are late in the fashion industry. They tell you to be there at three, the photographers show up at three-thirty. I get there at literally, two o’clock because I’m used to the hockey world my whole life. I’m used to getting there early, mentally preparing myself for what I have to do. It’s very on-the-go type of thing. Hockey is more scheduled.”
Managing the schedule of a Division-I athlete as well as an aspiring young model obviously brought up challenges last year that any person, let alone an 18-year-old, would have difficulties handling. Pursuing a career on your own in one aspect while trying to play a pivotal role on a hockey team at the highest collegiate level. With only so many hours in a day, and so many days in a week, the conflicts of interest finally gave way and Pedatella had to make a business decision.
“I’m trying to push modeling more,” she said. “I love playing hockey but modeling is more of a career path for me so I’m trying to push modeling more right now and see where it goes.”
That wasn’t a total sacrifice of one world for the other, however.
With one year of eligibility remaining, Pedatella returned to Brewster for one more season with the U-19 Lady Bulldogs. That schedule still provides challenges, but obviously not to the extent of a Division-I program and can be much more flexible around her modeling ambitions.
Soaking up as much of the hockey experience as she can before being phased out by her birth year, Pedatella’s love of the game and her teammates is what motivated her to keep hockey, in any form, in her life as long as she can while pursuing her modeling career.
While there have been many sacrifices along the way, Pedatella is a beaming example of maintaining your passions while pursuing your goals. So fitting at Fire on Ice — two polar opposite elements symbolically coming together at the largest girls’ hockey tournament in the U.S. — that she serves as a representation of how one doesn’t have to sacrifice their brawn for beauty or grace for power.
“It’s my life, so I don’t know how it would be different otherwise,” Pedatella said. “I wouldn’t change it. I’ve learned so much.”
With tons of winners both on and off the ice from Division-I women’s teams to the U-10 age group, Fire on Ice continues to grow as the largest girls’ hockey tournament in the U.S. and draws teams from across North America including California, Florida and Ontario. Want even more from Fire on Ice? Click HERE for game results, standings and more or check out the photo gallery HERE.