September 28, 2018

Meet the Women’s Hockey Freshmen


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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team added seven freshmen ahead of the 2018-19 season. We spoke to each of them before the Buckeyes took the ice to start the new year.

First up is Andrea Braendli, a goaltender hailing from Zurich, Switzerland. Braendli suited up for the Swiss National Team earlier this year in the Olympics where she served as a backup goaltender. In addition to make the Olympic roster, Braendli spent the 2017-18 season with EHC Schaffhausen where she made seven appearances in net. During her time playing for the Swiss U18 team she earned Top Goaltender honors at the IIHF U18 World Championships. When she’s not between the pipes, Andrea loves to read and hang out with her dogs.

Next is Eve Savander. The defenseman comes to us from Joensuu, Finland where she played for the Finland in the IIHF World Women’s U18 Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She also played for Team Kuortane with fellow newcomer Sara Saekkinen. Savander also dabbled in figure skating, golf and Pesäpallo (Finnish baseball) back home in Finland.

Joining us from Blaine, Minnesota is Gabby Rosenthal. As a forward at Blaine High School she tallied 162 points from 77 goals and 85 assists. She wore the captain’s “C” in her senior season while she won the 2018 Athena Award and the 2018 Hobey Baker Character Award. Rosenthal shined bright early on in her career, earning Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman.

One of the five finalists for 2018 Minnesota Ms. Hockey award, Madison Bizal, looks to strengthen the blue line instantly. Earlier this year Bizal won gold with Team USA in the IIHF U18 World Championships. In her four years at Elk River High School she notched 106 points from 40 goals and 66 assists, earning All-State honors in 2017 and 2018. She comes from a proud line of hockey players as her father played at St. Cloud State and her cousin currently plays for Boston College.

Paetyn Levis, a forward hailing from Rodgers, Minnesota, served as a captain at Rodgers High School in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She holds the Rodgers High School record for points with 197 and for goals with 139, she also tallied 58 assists in her career. She won two Mississippi 8 Conference Offensive Player of the Year awards.

Sara Saekkinen brings some Olympic flair to the team after winning a bronze medal with Finland at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Saekkinen also won bronze with Finland at the 2017 IIHF World Women’s Championships while also playing for Team Kuortane with fellow newcomer Eve Savander. While serving as a captain for Kuortane from 2015 to 2017 she also played in three consecutive IIHF U18 World Championships with Finland.

Last, but certainly not least, is Sophie Jaques. The defenseman comes to us from Toronto where she played with the Toronto Junior Aeros. While she has the assistant captain’s “A” on her sweater she helped lead the Aeros to the PWHL Championship in 2018 after falling short and finishing second with the Aeros in 2017. Jaques also played for the Ontario Red team that won the Canadian 2017 Women’s U18 Championship.

The Buckeyes open play Friday night at Quinnipiac on Friday. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m.