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Read the freshman forward’s chat with fans

COLUMBUS, Ohio Natalie Spooner, a freshman forward on the Ohio State women’s hockey team, held a live online chat on OhioStateBuckeyes.com to answer fans’ questions Monday.

A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Spooner leads the Buckeyes with nine goals this season and is second in scoring with 12 points. She recently won a silver medal with the Canadian National Women’s Team at the 2008 Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y. Spooner has been on three Team Canada squads in 2008, playing with the Under-18 team in January, the Under-22 team in August and the National Team in November.

The Buckeyes hit the road this weekend for a two-game series against St. Lawrence in Canton, N.Y. The puck drops at 4 p.m. Friday and at 1 p.m. Saturday.

ohiostatebuckeyes.com::  

Welcome to Natalie’s online chat. Please post your questions for the freshman forward here.

ohiostatebuckeyes.com::  

Natalie is here so we will go ahead and begin.

Dan: Worthington:  

What do former players such as Erin Keys do once they graduate? Is it sad to know there isn’t another avenue to display your skills?

Natalie::  

Once female hockey players graduate from college most try to play at the national level for their countries. I know Erin Keys is playing with the U.S. National Team residency program. There also is a senior women’s hockey league that plays in the northern U.S. and Canada and that is where Tessa Bonhomme plays now.

Dan: Worthington:  

How do you find the excitement and following for hockey at OhioState as opposed to in Toronto?

Natalie::  

Because of the school spirit, there is more of a team-like support at games. In Toronto, mainly it was just family and friends coming out to support the team.

Mike:Savage, MN:  

What’s it like playing with Shannon Reilly? She used to hang out with me all the time and if I remember correctly, she was pretty good at hockey.

Natalie::  

It is a lot of fun to play with Shannon. She has a really good shot and sees the ice well so she can move the puck well from the defensive end of the ice.

Justin: Columbus, Ohio:  

Who is the best hockey player you have played with in your career?

Natalie::  

Hayley Wickenheiser is the best I’ve played with. She’s one of the most well-known female players around the world. She is from Canada and plays in a men’s league in Sweden. I played with her at Four Nations.

Hanna: New York:  

How did you get into hockey? When did you start playing?

Natalie::  

I have three older brothers who all played hockey so it was just natural for me to start playing. I started when I was four or five-years old.

Pete: Parma, Ohio:  

Is hockey the most popular sport for females in Canada? Did you play other sports growing up?

Natalie::  

I’m not sure if it is the most popular but the women’s game has grown in Canada and it is getting more popular for females to play it. I also played soccer growing up.

Laura: Cincinnati:  

How do you like OhioState so far? What’s a typical day like for you at school?

Natalie::  

I really enjoy the university. I get along with all my teammates and we always have a lot of fun. I wake up and have classes in the morning before going to the rink for a 3:30 p.m. practice. We leave the rink around 7 p.m. and go to study tables.

TJ: North Carolina:  

Are you an NHL fan? Who do you support?

Natalie::  

Yes, I am an Ottawa Senators and Maple Leafs fan.

Alice: Columbus:  

Who is your craziest teammate?

Natalie::  

Olivia Antognoli. She is very outgoing.

Annie: Dublin:  

What do you like to do in your free time? Do you play any other sports besides hockey?

Natalie::  

In my free time, I do homework, hang out with my teammates and shop. I don’t play any other sports at OhioState but in high school I swam, ran cross country and played soccer and field hockey.

Kyle: Columbus:  

What’s your favorite thing about the sport of hockey?

Natalie::  

The thrill of a win and seeing your team succeed.

Sara: Pickerington:  

What made you come to Ohio state?

Natalie::  

I picked OhioState because of the school spirit and the support system the athletics department has in place for its athletes. Plus, the girls were all nice when I came on my official visit.

Alex: Columbus:  

What is it like playing for your country? Are you going to the 2010 Olympics? Go Canada!

Natalie::  

It is a great honor to represent my country and to play with and against other great athletes. I hope to go to the Olympics so that is my next goal.

Amy: Upper Arlington:  

How did you get started playing hockey? Did you ever have a hard time with it?

Natalie::  

I started because of my brothers. It was difficult keeping up with school because of the practice and travel but I have always enjoyed it and have a lot of fun playing.

Samantha: Powell:  

How do you manage playing for college and Canada at the same time?

Natalie::  

Jackie is supportive of my Team Canada events and allows me to go to them throughout the year. Also, professors are understanding and help me catch up with class work.