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Three-time Olympian had her No. 3 retired prior to the women’s hockey game

COLUMBUS, Ohio Prior to the football game between Ohio State and Purdue Saturday at Ohio Stadium, former Buckeye women’s hockey All-American Emma Laaksonen was recognized on the field at the 50-yard line.

As part of the 10th anniversary of the Ohio State women’s hockey team, the program is retired Laaksonen’s No. 3 Saturday evening at the OSU Ice Rink before the ninth-ranked Buckeyes take on No. 2 Wisconsin at 7 p.m.

Laaksonen was a defenseman for the Buckeyes from the 2000-01 to 2003-04 seasons. She helped build the foundation of women’s hockey at Ohio State and was the first Buckeye to earn several awards. Among them, Laaksonen became the first to earn All-America honors, named to the second team in 2002 by the American Hockey Coaches Association.

As a sophomore, Laaksonen also was named a Top 10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award presented annually to the best Division I women’s hockey player in the nation. That season, she was a Second Team All-WCHA honoree by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Laaksonen’s achievements at Ohio State were not limited to the rink. She also earned several awards for her performance in the classroom, including the 2004 WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year. She was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District IV at-large honoree, a two-time Scholar All-American by the American Women’s Hockey Coaches Association and a three-time WCHA All-Academic Team selection.

Along with helping to build the Ohio State women’s hockey program, Laaksonen has played a key role in the development of the sport in her home country of Finland. She is a three-time Olympian for Team Finland, serving as a captain in 2002 and 2006, and prior to coming to Ohio State, she won a bronze medal in the 1998 Nagano Games.

Along with the Olympics, Laaksonen has played with and captained Team Finland in a number of other international events, including IIHF World Women’s Championships and Four Nations Cups.