COLUMBUS, Ohio – Raygan Kirk, Lexi Templeman and Emily Curlett have watched the evolution of success the Buckeyes have displayed nationally year after year. Templeman and Curlett remembered first hand the grit, tenacity and constant pressure the Buckeyes put on their opponents when they played them years ago.
So, when they got unfortunate news that Robert Morris had elected to eliminate the women’s ice hockey program, the search was officially on for a landing spot. They found the perfect place in Columbus, and earlier this week all signed National Letters of Intent to continue their careers as Buckeyes.
“Our job here is to win national championships and mold young women,” said head coach Nadine Muzerall. “I am very protective of our teams integrity and reputation that has been earned over the years by these incredible young women. It was very evident early in my conversations with all three young ladies that they held the standards of excellence that we uphold within our culture. So, when I was given the chance to land impactful players who have a strong character and high academics – you do it.”
Templeman, from Staffa, Ontario, was the Colonials’ leading scorer last season with seven goals and 23 assists (30 points) while earning first team All-CHA honors. A veteran of 130 career games at Robert Morris, she finished her Robert Morris career with 127 points (34 goals, 93 assists). In her last full season – 2019-20 – Templeman finished second in the CHA in scoring with 44 points and was 10th nationally in assist per game.
Templeman was on the Robert Morris team that played Ohio State in her freshman and sophomore seasons. The impression that series left on her was apparent when the opportunity to join the program arose.
“When Coach Muzerall reached out, I was thrilled,” said Templeman, who will graduate from Robert Morris with her degree in accounting and plans to pursue a master’s degree in business analytics at Ohio State. “Having played against them in the past and knowing what their style was, I thought it was a perfect fit.”
Fellow Canadian Raygan Kirk, a goaltender, will arrive in Columbus having played in 41 games over the past two seasons with 38 starts. In 2020-21, while helping Robert Morris win the CHA Tournament title and reach the NCAA Tournament, she had a 1.91 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and 433 total stops.
On the international stage, Kirk won gold with Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF U-18 World Championships, starting all four games and earning tournament MVP honors. She was invited to the 2019 Team Canada Summer Showcase camp and had the distinction of being the youngest player to get that honor.
“My conversations with Coach Muzerall and the players went really well,” said Kirk, who was an environmental science major at Robert Morris. “I know Ohio State plays in a tough league against the best competition in the country and I can’t want to be a part of that. I love the culture and the way the team goes about its business. I could sense right away that I’d be welcomed here.”
The third member of the Buckeyes’ new trio arrives via Lapeer, Mich. Emily Curlett played in 130 games over her four-year RMU career and in her last full season – 2019-20 – led the nation in power play goals with 13. A first-team All-CHA honoree and the Colonials’ all-time leader in goals scored by a defender (43), Curlett says she was looking for “white collar results with a blue collar work ethic” in her transfer destination.
“When I took into account all the resources that I’d have at Ohio State, the choice really became obvious,” said Curlett, who earned a spot on the 2021 All-USCHO Third Team. “The chance to be a part of a program that plays and wins at the highest level along with the academic opportunities was something I simply couldn’t pass up.”
Like Templeman, Curlett also participated on the Robert Morris teams that competed against Ohio State in past seasons, which has helped Curlett understand the culture she is joining upon her arrival here in Columbus.
“I remember being really impressed not only with how skilled they were, but also how hard they played,” said Curtlett, who majored in organizational leadership while at RMU. “That’s something that left an impression on me. And I think it’s a big reason why they are one of the best teams in the country year in and year out.”