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Ohio State adds pair of twins from Michigan along with student-athletes from Ohio, Ontario, Minnesota and Texas

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jackie Barto, head coach of the No. 9/10 Ohio State women’s hockey team, has signed six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent she announced Wednesday. The Buckeyes welcome an Ohio native as well as a pair of twins from Michigan and players from Minnesota, Ontario and Texas for the 2011-12 season.

“All six in this class are passionate about the game of hockey,” Barto, in her 12th season at Ohio State, said. “They come from strong programs and have all played at high levels. They are solid students and are committed to success both in the classroom and on the ice. They will make an immediate impact with our program and be outstanding representatives of The Ohio State University and our women’s hockey program.”

Stacy Danczak
Goaltender, 5-6
Macedonia, Ohio
High school: Nordonia
Club team: Ohio Flames

Backstopped the Ohio Flames to the 2010 district championship and the 2010 Culver tournament championship … attends Nordonia High School … competed at the skills competition during the 2010 national tournament … served as captain of the Under-16 Flames … daughter of Ed and Kelly Danczak … has two brothers, Bryan and Nick.

Barto on Danczak: “Stacy has an excellent work ethic and has been a key part of the Ohio Flames program. She will make us stronger at the goaltender position. We are pleased Stacy will remain in state and play for the Buckeyes.”

Danielle Gagné
Forward, 5-5
Brampton, Ontario
High school: Mayfield Secondary
Club team: Mississauga Jr. Chiefs

Currently plays for the Mississauga Jr. Chiefs of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League as well as a member of her high school team at Mayfield … invited to the 2010 Canadian National Women’s Under-18 Camp … recently named to Team Ontario Red for the Canada Winter Games … earned a silver medal at the U-18 national championship with Team Ontario Blue … ranked fourth in scoring with 26 goals and 53 points in the PWHL during the 2009-10 season and was the top scorer in her age group … earned MVP of her high school team three times … led the team as assistant captain three seasons and captains the Chiefs this season … daughter of Wayne and Debbie Gagné … father played at Western Michigan from 1983-87 and played professionally in the AHL and Europe … has a younger brother, Joshua.

Barto on Gagné: “Danielle has excellent knowledge of the game and sees the ice very well. She has been a top scorer in the PWHL with her outstanding hands and puck skills. She will bring a strong offensive presence to the team.”

Taylor Kuehl
Forward, 5-8
Minnetrista, Minn.
High school/team: Mound Westonka

Starting her fifth season as a center at Mound Westonka High School after joining the team in eighth grade … enters her senior year with a total of 248 points and 153 goals … has helped the team average 18 wins during her four seasons after having only one winning season before then … four-time all-conference selection after leading the league in scoring all four years … named all-state as a sophomore and junior … earned the team’s most offensive player award four times, MVP three times and is a two-year captain … attended the National Development Program three times and advanced to the All-Star game all three years … has twice played with the U.S. Select Under-18 team in three-game series vs. Canada … also competed with the soccer, tennis and golf teams at Mound Westonka … daughter of Bob and Kathy Kuehl … has an older brother, Nick.

Barto on Kuehl: “Taylor is a strong skating forward who has outstanding puck skills and tremendous vision on the ice. She can create scoring opportunities with her skill as a dynamic offensive threat. She will make us stronger through the middle of the ice.”

Kari Schmitt
Defenseman, 5-11
Canton, Mich.
High school: Canton
Club team: Belle Tire

Currently in her second season with Belle Tire after two years with Little Caesars … plays with her twin, Sara, also a defenseman … attends Canton High School … won the 2009 Under-16 state championships and advanced to the National Tournament quarterfinals … also won state championship in U-14 category in 2008 and was national silver medalist … attended the 2007 and ’09 U.S. National Development Camp … also swam and played basketball at Canton High School … comes from a swimming family with her sister, Allison, winning a bronze medal in the 800 free relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics … brother, Derek, also swam at Ohio University and Pittsburgh … has another sister Kirsten … daughter of Gail and Ralph Schmitt.

Barto on Kari Schmitt: “Kari is a strong defenseman with good size and mobility. She competes hard and is a tremendous athlete. She has good vision on the ice and will bring some offensive skill to the team.”

Sara Schmitt
Defenseman, 5-10
Canton, Mich.
High school: Canton
Club team: Belle Tire

Currently in her second season with Belle Tire after two years with Little Caesars … plays with her twin, Kari, also a defenseman … attends Canton High School … won the 2009 Under-16 state championships and advanced to the National Tournament quarterfinals … also won state championship in U-14 category in 2008 and was national silver medalist … attended the 2009 U.S. National Development Camp … also swam and played basketball at Canton High School … comes from a swimming family with her sister, Allison, winning a bronze medal in the 800 free relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics … brother, Derek, also swam at Ohio University and Pittsburgh … has another sister Kirsten … daughter of Gail and Ralph Schmitt.

Barto on Sara Schmitt: “Sara is a tough defenseman who is very competitive. She is mobile with good size – an outstanding athlete with good fundamental skills.”

Kayla Sullivan
Forward, 5-6
Flower Mound, Texas
High school/team: Shattuck-St. Mary’s School

Four-year member of Shattuck-St. Mary’s hockey teams in Faribault, Minn. … named assistant captain of the team as a senior … three-time Minnesota AAA state champions … SSM also was runner-up at the 2010 Under-19 National Championships … participated at the USA Hockey national camps in the 14, 15, 16, and 17 age groups … has lettered twice in lacrosse and once in golf as well at SSM … daughter of Brad and Debra Sullivan … has a brother, Michael.

Barto on Sullivan: “Kayla is a hard working athlete who will make us deeper in the middle of the ice. She is a smart player who sees the game well.”