This Q&A ran in the Buckeye gameday program for the Michigan series Dec. 4-5
Junior forward Hunter Bishop has traveled cross-continent to pursue his dream of becoming a better hockey player. From his hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska, Bishop has made pit stops in Vernon, British Columbia, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, en route to his current home in Columbus. Bishop discusses his valuable experiences before coming to Ohio State and what it’s like to have a sister on the Ohio State women’s hockey team.
How did playing in the British Columbia Hockey League help you with playing in the CCHA now?
“I think the BCHL is a great league; I played in the North American Hockey League and the USHL as well. I’ve been all over the place. I think the BCHL is an offensive league and goal scoring is a big part of it. It’s a great league to really hone your skills and your nose for goal scoring. A few years of playing there really gave me confidence with my offensive abilities. I had a great time – it was awesome.”
What was the biggest challenge of traveling all over North America to play hockey?
“Moving around year-to-year, it’s probably the new scenery. I lived in Iowa where it’s basically straight corn fields. There’s not a whole lot there, which was a huge contrast from Fairbanks, Alaska. Going to Vernon (British Columbia) in Canada is different than anything in the states. Hockey is life up there; it’s a religion. Each was definitely a new experience and took a little getting used to. It’s made me who I am today and I’m glad I took the path I did.”
What kind of hockey atmosphere was there in your hometown of Fairbanks?
“There’s snow and ice on the ground for just about nine months out of the year, so hockey is basically it up there. Football is big here; hockey takes the same pedestal in Alaska. On the weekends, you’ve got the junior team: the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, who I played for, and the (Alaska Fairbanks) Nanooks, and those are pretty much the two sporting activities you can hit. You can imagine they do pretty well when it comes to fan base and I definitely can say there are some pretty crazy, wild fans in Alaska.”
What’s it like having your sister play with the women’s hockey team here at OSU?
“It’s great. Unfortunately, on weekends, when we’re home, they’re usually away, so I don’t get to see her play too often. We always talk after games and ask how each other did. There’s a select few times when we get to see each other play. It’s always nice and makes it easier since our family is so far away. If I ever need anyone to hang out, my sister is at an apartment very close by.”
What is the key for this team to build on what it accomplished last season and make it deeper into the NCAA Tournament?
“We have to be more consistent. We’re an older and stronger team this year, so I think our maturity and experience from last year’s NCAA tournament should help us out a lot. On the defensive end, I know we lost pretty big last year in that last game (vs. Boston University) so I think we’re really concentrating on the defensive end. We need to keep pushing along and getting better.”