May 25, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Jackie Barto, Ohio State women’s hockey coach, today announced four highly-recruited student-athletes have committed to join the program. Forward Jenifer Creary (Shell Lake, Saskatchewan/Notre Dame), center Jennifer Desson (Niagara Falls, Ontario/St. Paul) and defenseman Jaclyn Haines (Rossland, British Columbia/Rossland) signed National Letters of Intent to attend Ohio State and play hockey. Goaltender Natalie Lamm© (Hibbing, Minn./Hibbing), signed an offer of admission to attend the university beginning in the fall and will join the team but plans to redshirt her first season.

“We’re very excited about the incoming freshmen because of their commitment to both academics and hockey,” Barto said. “This class is going to make an immediate contribution. It brings with it good speed, creativity and a high level of competition. We’ll look for this class to be an important part of the next step we take as a program and of our quest to compete for a WCHA Championship.”

Creary, a 5-foot-5-inch forward from Shell Lake, Saskatchewan, is a versatile athlete with great speed. Her goal-scoring capabilities and creativity with the puck make her an exciting player to watch. A 2001 graduate of Notre Dame High School in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, Creary led her team to a 20-4-0 overall record as a senior and tallied a remarkable 70 goals and 29 assists for 99 points. Creary played club hockey for the 2000 Canadian Western Shield Champion Saskatoon Comets. She helped lead her team to provincials in 1997, 2000 and ’01, the league championship in ’96 and ’01 and represented Team Saskatchewan at the Canada Winter Games in 1998 and ’99. Creary played for the Senior Women’s National Team in Saskatchewan in 1999-2000, she was named student of the year and athlete of the year at her high school, also having excelled in softball, golf, badminton, track and field and soccer. She is the daughter of Delray and Barb Creary.

“Jeni is an outstanding student-athlete and a hard worker who will make an immediate contribution to our program,” Barto said. “She will be our goal scorer. She has excellent quickness and creativity and a great instinct for creating offense. Jeni has played for many high-level teams in Canada so we’re excited she chose to be a Buckeye.”

Desson is a 5-foot-6-inch center from Niagara Falls, Ontario, where she attends St. Paul’s High School. A starter and the leading scorer for five years, Desson helped lead her high school team to a bronze-medal finish at the 2001 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Championships. She also was the MVP of her basketball team. Desson played club hockey for the Niagara Rapids Midget AA, which competed at the Ontario Winter Games in 2000. Barto expects Desson to make a strong contribution to the Buckeye lineup because of her playmaking ability and outstanding work ethic. Her parents are Mike and Brenda Desson.

“Jennifer is a talented center who sees the ice well and has a good understanding of the game,” Barto said. “Her strength is moving the puck and creating offense for her line. She is a solid skater, has good hands and has the ability to become a very good playmaker at this level.”

Haines, a 5-foot-6-inch defenseman from Rossland, British Columbia, will add depth to an already strong Ohio State defensive core. While a member of Team British Columbia, Haines captured a gold medal at the B.C. Winter Games (2000) and a silver medal at the Canada Winter Games (1998). Team B.C. took silver at the 2001 Western Shield Championships and Haines’ club team, Team Pacific, won the Provincial AAA Midget Female Championships for four-consecutive years. Haines is the daughter of Daniel and Monalee Haines.

“Jaclyn is a very solid defenseman and a strong skater with good speed,” Barto said. “She is an intense competitor who uses her body well. Jaclyn also sees the ice well and has a very good sense of the game. I look for her to be a steady force for us on the blue line.”

Lamm© is a 5-foot-6-inch goaltender from Hibbing, Minn. Her high school team, the Hibbing Blue Jackets, was the state champion in 1996-97 and first runner-up in 1997-98 and she was named to the all-state and all-area teams as a sophomore, junior and senior. The recipient of numerous all-tournament team, athlete of the week, player of the game and MVP honors, Lamm© also participated in the Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) from 1996-2000. Expected to redshirt her first year, Lamm© is an excellent addition to the Buckeye goaltending tandem of April Stojak and Melissa Glaser. Her parents are Robert and Donna Lamm©.

“Natalie has had a very successful high school career at Hibbing,” Barto said. “She is an outstanding athlete who is quick and technically solid in goal. We hope that as a freshman at Ohio State she will gain confidence that will enable her to make the transition to this level. We will have three goaltenders now who, if they are able to work together, will make us the strongest team goaltending-wise in the WCHA and possibly the nation.”

2001 Ohio State Women’s Hockey Recruiting Class Name Pos. Ht. Hometown High School Club Team(s) Jeni Creary Forward 5-5 Shell Lake, Saskatchewan Notre Dame Saskatoon Comets/Team Saskatchewan Jennifer Desson Center 5-6 Niagara Falls, Ontario St. Paul’s Niagara Rapids AA Jaclyn Haines Defense 5-6 Rossland, British Columbia Rossland Team Pacific/Team B.C. Natalie Lamm© Goalie 5-6 Hibbing, Minn. Hibbing –