The Ohio State women’s hockey might currently be in the offseason, but that does not mean every player is taking a break from hockey.
On Aug. 16-19, three players from the Buckeyes were invited to compete in the Under-22 USA vs. Canada women’s series.
Redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne was one of the players picked to represent the USA team. She was joined by senior defenseman Lauren Boyle and sophomore forward Emma Maltais, with Maltais playing on Team Canada.
It should come as no surprise that Dunne was selected to compete for Team USA. The defender scored a career-high 26 points, finishing tied for the team lead in assists with 24, which was tied for second place in the WCHA. She finished the season with All-WCHA first team honors and will serve as a captain for Ohio State this upcoming season.
Dunne said playing for her country was a special moment.
“Obviously any time you get a chance to put on the jersey it’s such an honor,” Dunne said. “To get to do that with the top 22 players of your age group and peers is incredible.”
Not only did Dunne get to play in those games, but she scored the game-winning goal in the second game of a three-game sweep by Team USA to take the lead 2-1 with 7:21 left to go in the third period. In addition, she earned another point by getting an assist on the first goal.
Dunne said she has a lot to learn from her experience in the series.
“I think being at that level, everyone is someone you can learn from,” Dunne said. “Whether they be a coach, player or other staff member, there are endless opportunities to learn, grow and get better.”
Things were no different from the side of Team Canada. Maltais said she found the experience to be equally as rewarding.
“It was an honor to be chosen to represent my country,” Maltais said. “I was so excited when I found out, and to be able to play against the U.S. when you’re playing for Canada. I got to experience that with a lot of talented players and I learned a lot that week.”
Ohio State is coming off its first Frozen Four appearance in program history with a relatively young roster. The team is looking to build off that performance, and having key players participate in the event could help build momentum for the upcoming season.
For Dunne, this experience might help establish her as a key leader for the team.
“I think playing against the best of the best starts us out at a high level,” Dunne said. “One thing I loved about playing for Team USA, is they really tried to institute a team-first culture. So, everything you do is your team is above you. I absolutely love that, and I may be the captain, but I also want to make sure I’m serving my teammates to the best of my ability.”