Buckeyes welcome student-athletes from Finland, Michigan, New York, Ontario and Pennsylvania
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s hockey team has signed five student-athletes to NCAA National Letters of Intent, head coach Jackie Barto announced Tuesday. The class includes players from Finland, Michigan, New York, Ontario and Pennsylvania and the Buckeyes will welcome them for the 2009-10 season.

“We are excited about the incoming freshman class because they bring with them tremendous enthusiasm and energy,” Barto said. “They have a strong passion for the game of hockey and together will provide us with many different skills to bring a good balance. They are outstanding student-athletes who want to achieve at the highest level both in the classroom and on the ice. The will make a strong contribution to our program and will be great representatives of Ohio State.”

Krystina (Tina) Hollowell plays with the Little Caesars Under-19 team, the former team of freshman forward Kim Theut, and attends Chippewa Valley High School. The 5 foot-5 inch forward is a native of Clinton Township, Mich., and played with Little Caesars U-16 team the previous two seasons, serving as captain last year and assistant captain in 2006-07. She was named MVP of the annual Fire on Ice tournament last season. Hollowell is a three-time attendee at the U.S. Development camp. Off the ice, she is a member of the Honor Roll and active in peer mediation, student government and student council.

“Krystina is a strong skating, aggressive forward,” Barto said. “She has excellent speed and will make a solid contribution in all three zones. We are excited Krystina has decided to become a Buckeye.”

Chelsea Knapp is a goaltender at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., and a native of York, N.Y. The 5-9 netminder also plays with the East Coast Wizards club team. Knapp attended the U.S. Select 16s Festival in 2007.

“Chelsea is an outstanding athlete,” Barto said. “She has strong fundamental skills and will provide good size and presence in the net. We are excited to have Chelsea join our program.”

Casandra (Hokey) Langan is a Chatham, Ontario, native and plays for the London Jr. Devilettes while attending Chatham-Kent Secondary School. The 5-4 forward is a two-time member of the gold medal-winning Team Ontario Red at the 2007 and ’08 Canadian Under-18 National Championships. She served as assistant captain at the most recent championships. Langan also competed with Team Canada in a U-18 series against Team USA in August.

“Hokey is a dynamic forward with excellent quickness,” Barto said. “She has excellent skills, including great vision on the ice to generate offensive opportunities. We are pleased Hokey will wear Scarlet and Gray.”

Paige Semenza attends the North American Hockey Academy in Stowe, Vt., and is a Pittston, Pa., native. She will join fellow NAHA product Teal Bishop, a sophomore defenseman with the Buckeyes. Semenza was named assistant captain last season after earning the team’s Most Consistent Player Award in 2006-07. The 5-4 forward attended USA Hockey National Camps in 2005 and ’07.

“We are pleased Paige has chosen Ohio State,” Barto said. “She is a smooth-skating forward with excellent speed. She has strong puck skills and the ability to generate offense.”

Minnamari (Mintuu) Tuominen is a native of Espoo, Finland, home of former Buckeye All-American Emma Laaksonen. The forward plays with Laaksonen for the Espoo Blues and attends Makelanrinne Sports High School in Helsinki. Tuominen has played with Team Finland in a number of events this year, including the 2008 Four Nations Cup in November and a series against Sweden in September. She also captained Finland’s U-18 team at the 2008 World Women’s Under-18 Championship in January. At Makelanrinne, Tuominen captained the team last season after being named one of the school’s top athletes of 2007.

“Mintuu is a strong player on both sides of the puck,” Barto said. “She is aggressive and skates the game well. She has good vision on the ice and is a strong two-way forward. We are pleased Mintuu has chosen to be a Buckeye.”