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Freshman forward answered fans’ questions Wednesday

COLUMBUS, Ohio Laura McIntosh, a freshman forward on the Ohio State women’s hockey team, held an online chat on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, answering questions about being a freshman at Ohio State, playing on the road and what to expect at the OSU Ice Rink this weekend.

McIntosh has led the Buckeyes in scoring throughout the 2008-09 season. Through 22 games this season, the native of Waterloo, Ontario, has a team-high 27 points and 20 assists. In the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, her 27 points are fourth in freshman scoring and 10th overall. She is tied for third in assists in the conference and tied for seventh in the NCAA with 0.91 per game.

McIntosh is on a seven-game point streak with 10 points in that span. She has been held without a point in back-to-back games just twice this season.

This weekend, the Buckeyes conclude a three-week homestand with a WCHA series against St. Cloud State, Jan. 16-17. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink. Admission is free and “Skate with the Buckeyes” and autograph sessions will be held after the game Saturday. 

ohiostatebuckeyes.com::  

Laura is here so we will go ahead and begin.

Dan:Worthington:  

Why did you choose OhioState? What are the college hockey programs like in Canada?

Laura::  

I chose OhioState because of its athletics and because it is a well-known school. In Canada, the programs aren’t up to the level of college hockey in the States. They are starting to have full scholarships now so the programs up there are growing.

Peggy:Kitchener:  

What is the best part of being a member of the Women’s Ice Hockey Team at OhioState?

Laura::  

We have a good team spirit and everyone gets along. On the ice everyone is supportive.

Tammy:Worthington:  

Have you noticed a difference in the level of play in college defenders? How is it different?

Laura::  

I’ve noticed a big difference. I’ve had to change my type of play quite a bit. I think every game I am improving with that. Depending on what team you are playing, you have to know the goalie because they are quick and play the puck well so you can’t just shot at an open hole.

Andy:Delta, Ohio:  

What would you say your biggest strength on the ice? Speed, skill, etc.

Laura::  

Probably, how I see the ice and the plays I make. I’ve had to work on my speed to help strengthen my game.

Hanna:Columbus, Ohio:  

What do you notice yourself missing from back home?

Laura::  

My family, friends. I miss having a clean house to come back to. I miss high school sports and being able to play more than one sport like here at OhioState.

Greg:Columbus:  

If you could play another position in hockey for a game, would you rather be a goalie or a defenseman and why?

Laura::  

Goalie because they get lots of action. I played one day in practice and it was a lot of fun. My softball skills helped with my glove work but my blockers were no where to be found.

Jessica:Toledo:  

Has the team enjoyed being home for the last couple of weeks after starting the year off with so many road games?

Laura::  

Yea, I think everyone like playing at home better because you feel more comfortable and it’s nice not to have jetlag. I think the atmosphere is fun to play in at home so the team really enjoys that.

Erin:Cincinnati:  

Heading into the weekend, what are some of the team’s goals against St. Cloud? How do you typically prepare for a game?

Laura::  

We are hoping to come out with two wins because St. Cloud is only six points ahead of us right now. That would help us a lot in the conference standings. In practice we have been working on our power play, hoping that we will draw a lot of penalties. We’ve played them once already this year so we know what to expect to some degree.

Kevin:Dublin, Ohio:  

You and Spooner seem to skate well together. Did you play much together before coming to OhioState?

Laura::  

Growing up we played a lot against each other and there was a big rivalry there. As we grew up, we started playing on Team Ontario and the U-18 Canadian teams. We never played on the same line though.

Jeff:Canada:  

What’s your favorite pregame meal?

Laura::  

I like to have a chicken Caesar salad before playing games. Maybe a little bit of pasta.

annie:columbus:  

How do you come back after that bad weekend against Minnesota? What happened?

Laura::  

I think we have to put it behind us and try to pick ourselves up. We need to show everyone that is not the team we know are. We have a lot to prove now.

Roman:Kitchener:  

Do you see yourself as having a special role to play on and off the ice with the team?

Laura::  

Off the ice, it is hard to have a role as a freshman. On the ice, I’m there to generate offense.

Sandra:Waterloo:  

How do you compare the level of hockey now to what you were playing last year?

Laura::  

It’s a lot faster in college. Everyone is a lot stronger so at first I was getting pushed off the puck a lot. The goalies are very good so it is harder to score. In our conference, you can’t really take a day off.

Sandra:Waterloo:  

Just so you know…everyone in Waterloo is SO proud of you. Thanks for representing our city so well!

Laura::  

Thank you for all the support. It’s nice to know people back home are checking up on me!

Emma:Deerborn:  

How long have you been playing hockey? What got you started?

Laura::  

I’ve been playing since I was 6 years old. My brother got me started because I always had fun going to his games and playing mini sticks.

Sue:MI:  

The freshmen seem to be doing very well on the first 2 lines, how pressure is that on a freshman?

Laura::  

It’s a lot of pressure but I think we are handling it well. Again, with every game we are improving. I like the pressure because I feel I play better and it forces us to keep working hard. When we are on the ice, it doesn’t feel like we are freshmen.

Nick:Columbus:  

I love going to the women’s hockey games. You guys are so much fun to watch. Keep up the good work! I look forward to watching you the next three years!

Laura::  

Thanks! We love playing at home.

Kaitlen:Erie:  

What other sports do you play? What do you like to do off the ice?

Laura::  

Currently, I am still playing softball and next summer I am going to the Canada Summer Games to represent Ontario. In high school I played field hockey, golf, slow pitch, badminton and soccer.

Sandra:Waterloo:  

What are your future plans, with respect to hockey? Also, what job do you see yourself doing when you graduate?

Laura::  

I’m hoping to stay in the national program as long as I can while finishing my college career. In the future, I would like to stay in the hockey world and maybe coach at the NCAA program one day.

Lori:Dublin:  

How did you end up coming to Ohio? Did you know anything about college athletics in the US before you came here?

Laura::  

The coaches did a good job of recruiting me so I came to Ohio because of athletics. I knew enough about college programs in the U.S. because I had a lot of friends take this route.

Dan:Dublin, OH:  

How supportive have the upper-classmen been towards the freshmen class?

Laura::  

Our class had a lot of expectations coming in and the upperclassmen have helped our transition into the college game so we could be a help to the team.

Jeff:Canada:  

Do you miss watching Hockey Night in Canada?

Laura::  

Yes, I do. Hockey is only on when the Blue Jackets play here. I miss being able to sit on the coach and watch the Maple Leafs.

ohiostatebuckeyes.com::  

Laura is off to class now. Thanks for all the questions.