“Hokey” and “hockey:” words so similar, they’re often mistaken to be same. Despite the discrepancy of one little “c,” among the women’s collegiate hockey world, “Hokey” and “hockey” are becoming synonymous.
Freshman forward Hokey Langan, a 5-feet-4-inch standout from Chatham, Ontario came to Ohio State to play under coach Jackie Barto last year and is having a breakout season.
“She’s a dynamic offensive player. She’s a really head-smart, nose in the game [kind of player],” Barto said. “She does the little things out on the ice. She comes to play every night. She’s a determined, aggressive player.”
The love of hockey was something Langan always had growing up. Around the age of 3, Langan said she started to play around with her siblings.
“It just came. It was something I wanted to do every day,” Langan said. “[I] used to shoot pucks outside with my brother and my sister, and I never wanted to stop playing.”
But it wasn’t until Langan developed as a more mature player that the long list of recognition began to grow.
In high school, Langan played for the London Junior Devilettes before earning a spot on Team Canada’s Under-18 team. She was a two-time member of the gold medal-winning Team Ontario Red at the ‘07 and ‘08 Canadian U18 National Championships. She served as a captain at the ‘08 championships.
In Aug. 2008, Langan competed with Team Canada in a U18 series against Team USA. At the 2009 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship, Langan won the silver medal with Team Canada. When looking at colleges, Langan said OSU offered her multiple reasons to become a Buckeye.
“The first time driving in, the campus [was] beautiful,” Langan said about her recruiting trip. “Academics [are] really good here, and [OSU is] known for athletics. Every sport here is developed, so you can get a good crowd.”
But OSU’s location was the biggest factor for Langan.
“I live four hours away, so my parents can come and watch,” she said. “They’ve been to every single home game so far.”
This year, Langan has been named the WCHA Rookie of the Week twice. She tied OSU single-game records for goals with four and points with five in the 5-2 victory over Bemidji State Jan. 22.
Barto said she is proud of the girls who have received WCHA honors this season because the individual rewards are a reflection on the team.
Langan has moved into the lead for overall points in the WCHA with 39 (18 goals, 21 assists). She’s maintained the top spot in conference-only scoring with 32 points, 16 goals and assists apiece. With 1.42 points per game, she leads NCAA rookies and ranks eighth overall in the nation.
Senior co-captain Raelyn LaRocque said she likes playing with Langan because she can always count on the freshman to be in the right spot.
“[Langan offers] a lot of confidence, a lot of control. You know if you give her the puck, she’s going to make something happen with it,” LaRocque said. “So you can just throw her the puck at any point and time … [and] she’ll knock it off her stick and toss it over there.”
With a goal of winning a national championship before she graduates, Langan respects the suggestions and criticisms the coaches offer her after each game.
“[In] team meetings with the coaches, Jackie [Barto] tells me what I can do to improve and that’s what I strive to do,” Langan said. “Just to improve as a player in offense, defense. Hopefully I can improve for the next three years.”
Still in her inaugural season as a Buckeye athlete, Langan said what makes the experience worthwhile is the people that surround her.
“The coaches, as well as the team, they make it really fun,” Langan said. “You go to school, do what you have to do, and then you come to the rink and play what you love.”
Barto said she sees Langan as a continual contributor to the team, with a bright futureahead.
“[If] she keeps working hard on and off the ice, and improving her game … she’s going to be one of the top players in this country,” Barto said. “[She’s] going to … help this program get to the level we want to get to.”