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tBBC Making the List: Ohio State Hockey Legend Emma Laaksonenn

Discussion in 'News' started by jcollingsworth, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Making the List: Ohio State Hockey Legend Emma Laaksonenn
    jcollingsworth
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


    [​IMG]
    It is time for a discussion on Hockey – Buckeye style.

    A few names pass through my mind when I think of hockey players who began their journey on the ice rink and at the campus of The Ohio State University. In truth, those names are more often from the Men’s teams.

    Women’s Hockey has been a hidden secret.

    Specifically in the 2001-02 season when the lady Buckeyes had a breakthrough season by defeating several nationally ranked teams. Ohio State upset No. 3 New Hampshire before moving on to defeat No. 4 St. Lawrence and tying No. 6 Dartmouth – all in the same season. Five players received postseason honors. One player, though, that quietly represented the powerfully controlled defense of the Buckeyes was Emma Laaksonen, who at season’s end would be named to the JOFA/AHCA Second Team All-America accolades and All-WCHA Second Team honors. All this despite missing 10 games while representing her native Finland at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

    Emma Laaksonen was born December 17, 1981 in Washington D.C. to Finnish Nationals.

    At the age of 16 she would play for Finland in the 1998 Winter Olympics. She would be the youngest member of the Finnish delegation that year. Finland would earn a Bronze medal that year with a rare Defenseman that was creative yet physical – that was Emma Laaksonen.

    She would leave Finland and head to America to study abroad. Coincidentally, she’d be playing a little hockey too. Under the helm of Jackie Barto she would suit up in scarlet and gray and play for The Ohio State University. Playing as a Defenseman for the Buckeyes from 2000-01 to 20003-04, she would become the first All-American female hockey player from The Ohio State University. She would be a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award in 002 (The top female college hockey player in the United States) losing to Brooke Whitney of Northeastern (one of the most accomplished college female hockey players ever.)

    While at The Ohio State University she would be awarded the Most Valuable Defensive Player in 2001 and 2002. In 2001 she was also recognized as the Most Valuable Freshman.

    Emma is a three-time Olympian for her native Finland – serving as a co-captain on both 2002 and 2006 teams. She would also participate in seven world championships, serving as the Captain of the teams that were in the 2008 and 2009 runs. In Finland (A real Hockey Country) she would be named the female player of the year in 2002 and again in 2006.

    Laaksonen was finally recognized by The Ohio State University during the school’s 2008-09 season by retiring her number (3).

    Professionally she played in Finland for the Espoo Blues where she and her teammates would win the Finnish Championship six times (1999, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013). She would play professionally in Russia as well for Skif (Nižni Novgorod). She and her team would win the Russian Championship in the 2007-08 season.

    She currently is a sitting member of the Finnish Olympic Committee.

    One of her Finnish Olympian teammates, Minttu Tuominen, whom she mentored, followed her footsteps and went to America and enrolled at The Ohio State University where she too played on the Buckeyes Women’s team. To this day they get together to discuss the Scarlet and Gray.


    “It is so rare to be able to discuss Ohio State, the school itself, the sports, and complete environment with anyone in Finland. It is so nice to be able to do this. I love talking to Minttu. We both have experienced Buckeye Nation which is where our love and loyalty lies. No one else in Finland can relish in these joys of remembrance other than us – at least that I know of.” Emma shared on one of her visits back to Columbus.

    A finance major, she currently is a trader of corporate and government bonds where she continues to brag of her Buckeyes connection.


    “My OSU education gave me a strong base that brought me the success I now enjoy. It helped me to believe in all that I do, The Ohio State University provided me all of this.” (Talouselämä Magazine. 2011).

    Emma Laaksonen is a proud Buckeye. She is an accomplished athlete. She represents absolutely everything that deserves her to be named to Making The List. As the Hockey season begins its grind, it seems quite appropriate too to name our first Hockey Player – and who better than Emma Laaksonen?

    The post Making the List: Ohio State Hockey Legend Emma Laaksonenn appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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