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This Q&A ran in the Buckeye hockey gameday program for the game vs. the U.S. National Under-18 Team Jan. 15.

A freshman from Farmington, Minn., there is nothing Alex Carlson enjoys more than playing hockey outdoors. The forward played on ponds growing up in his home state, which boasts 10,000 lakes.  He is playing indoors this year, though. Carlson got off to a fast start, scoring a goal in his first career game against Quinnipiac. He has also tallied one assist in nine games. While he is off the ice, Carlson has a hobby that some would find unusual: aviation. He credits Ohio State’s aviation program as one of the reasons he enrolled. Following his career, he hopes to secure his pilot’s license.

How do you feel heading into the second half of your freshman season?
“I feel good. I’m starting to get more comfortable each game I play in. You kind of get nervous the first couple games. Then you get the feel of how things work and what you are and aren’t supposed to do on the ice. It all comes with experience.”

What difference do you notice at the college level?
“The game is a lot quicker. You have to move the puck faster, be alert, and know your positions better. You really have to step your game up another notch every time you are out there.”

How has the break been for you? Do you think having half a season under your belt then coming back fresh is a positive?
“I think it helped a lot. You can get overwhelmed and have too much going on. Then you take that break and you get eager to play again and work hard. Everyone wants to get back in the swing of things. I think the three weeks definitely helped.”

Where did you interest in aviation come from?
“I don’t know, I’ve just always been interested in flying planes and working around that area. I don’t have a pilot’s license, but I definitely look forward to getting it in the future.”

How is playing pond hockey at home in Minnesota?
“It’s always fun. In the winter if you want to have fun, you can just head outside and play with your buddies on a pond. There aren’t too many states where you can do that. It would be so much fun to play an outdoor game at Ohio State, especially with the fan support. It’d be quite an experience.”

How has the academic side of things been for you?
 “It’s not too bad. We have a group of counselors that help us out. They provide a lot for us, like the SASSO building and tutors when we need them. They make sure we are on top of things in classes and don’t get behind.”