You’re serving as the Buckeyes’ captain this year … how did you feel when you heard your teammates had selected you for that position?
It was a great honor for me to be voted. It is really special to have all of your teammates vote you to something like this and have faith in you that you’ll do a good job.
Did you have to change anything you did in the locker room or around the team now that you have the “C” on your sweater?
No, I haven’t changed the way I act. And I don’t plan on changing anything I do.
What are your goals for the team this season?
To win a National Championship. PERIOD.
How do you prepare for games?
I zone out before a game. I think about the game and what I have to do to be successful. I get so intense before games but no one would ever know about it because I keep it all inside.
Your squad has eight freshmen … how are they fitting in with the older teammates?
The freshmen aren’t even freshmen anymore. They fit it so well with the team. They all have such great attitudes and each has such a unique identity that meshes well with the team.
What do you think are the strengths of the Buckeyes this season?
The experience we carry and how hungry we are.
Why do you wear No. 7? Why did you wear No. 8 as a freshman and No. 73 last season?
I wear number 7 because of Chris Chelios. I loved watching him play when I was younger. I wore No. 8 for two reasons. When I was in high school there was a junior that was already wearing 7 so I had to pick a different number. I chose 8 because Bill Downey Sr. wore it. If you didn’t know Wild Bill, you missed out. No. 8 was only one number away from 7 so it seemed to fit. Now 73, I personally am against high numbers in hockey, but my roommate freshman year cried and whined that he couldn’t have his No. 8 so I told him I would change. I picked 73 because I wanted a number with 7 in it; 17 was taken and so was 27. Thirty-seven (37) is already a high number so I just picked 73. What is your major? What do you plan on doing once your hockey career is over?
My major is coaching and management. Once I am done playing hockey I am going to coach hockey. All I’ve known all my life is hockey so I can’t picture myself doing something for a living that isn’t hockey related.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I play the guitar and I get amused by some of the things my roommates do, especially Rod (Pelley). So, I try to spend as much time around him as possible.
What are you looking forward to this season?
I’m looking forward to the (NCAA) Frozen Four.
Who is the toughest CCHA opponent and why? Where is the toughest place to play in the league and why?
The toughest opponent is Alaska Fairbanks, they just send everyone like a pack of dogs. It’s so hard to play against them. The toughest place to play is Ferris State only because I have never won there yet.
You have three tattoos … where/what are they and do they have any special meanings?
I have my initials over my heart. It’s sort of a personal meaning to always remember who I am and don’t try to change that. I have a crown of thorns that goes around my right arm that reminds me of what Jesus went through. And I have all of my family members’ initials around my wrist to remind me where I came from. All of my tattoos are reminders for me because I have such a bad memory. You should ask my mom what tattoo which she likes the best.
What does JB stand for and why do you go by that name?
JB stands for Justine Bittner. I didn’t pick that name; it just stuck. It was a nickname when I played in the ‘Burgh (Pittsburgh) but now some people think that it’s my name.