For Ramsey Parent, moving across the country to play hockey at Ohio State was a nerve-wracking experience, but luckily for her, a former high school teammate, Gabby Rosenthal, made her feel at home.
In eighth grade, Rosenthal, a junior forward for the Buckeyes, moved to Blaine, Minnesota, from the town over and joined her new high school hockey team – the Blaine High School Bengals – with some new teammates, one being Ohio State sophomore forward Parent. In those three years together, the two earned All-State honors twice and led their team as captains in their 2017-18 season.
Following the 2018 season, Rosenthal moved onto Ohio State while Parent still had one more year of high school remaining. Little did they know, the two would be reunited in Columbus.
“Knowing that I’m going to have someone that I played with growing up was super cool to me, especially coming from Minnesota,” Rosenthal said.
Parent said she didn’t hesitate to reach out to her old teammate, who had now moved onto her second year at Ohio State.
Having Rosenthal on campus helped Parent’s adjustment to the college lifestyle much easier, she said.
“Having Gabby here just really is a huge advantage and huge benefit because if I had any little questions or I was nervous about anything, she would really calm all those nerves,” Parent said.
When Parent was just arriving on campus, Rosenthal said she was excited with the prospect of playing with her former teammate again.
Rosenthal’s freshman campaign was sidetracked by a broken arm early in the season that forced her to miss 10 games.
“Unfortunately, her freshman year she was injured and we didn’t get to see all that Gabby could do at the college level,” Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said.
However, Rosenthal bounced back in her sophomore season, providing the Buckeyes with 12 goals and six assists in 38 games played.
“Last year as a sophomore, she was such a reliable 200-foot hockey player,” Muzerall said. “You know she’s big and strong, relentless but very humble. She does the right thing all the time without asking for anything, and she’s very successful offensively.”
While Rosenthal is finding her footing with the Buckeyes, Parent is still working toward increased playing time, Muzerall said.
Citing Parent’s understanding of the game and ability to adapt, Muzerall was complimentary of the Minnesotan.
“Ramsey’s the type that always comes into the rink with a smile on her face, always willing to put in the work ethic and doesn’t ever pout about her playing time,” Muzerall said. “She just wants her moments, and I’m really hoping that she’s able to get some more ice time because she is smart.”
Not only did they play together prior to Ohio State, they also played against two other future Ohio State teammates who were in their high school conference, junior forward Paetyn Levis, who attended Rogers High School, and junior defensewoman Madison Bizal, who played at Elk River High School.
Often called “The State of Hockey,” Minnesota is a prime breeding ground for young hockey talent. This is evident as Muzerall has six players from Minnesota on her team this season.
“I have known these girls for a while, and they come from very good backgrounds with elite hockey in the state of Minnesota. They are very easy to coach and always want to be better. They have just been bred that way with the hockey they grew up with.” Muzerall said.
Muzerall herself was a two-time All-American and national champion while playing hockey at the University of Minnesota. Later on, she coached her alma mater for five years and led them to four national championships.
Entering her fifth season at the helm of the Buckeyes, Muzerall said the team’s recruiting success in the state of Minnesota is a testament to how far the program has come since she took over.
“It used to be really hard to pull players from Minnesota. The elite players you didn’t tend to get outside of the state,” Muzerall said. “Now that we’re on the map and earned the title of conference championship, we’ve earned our No. 4 national ranking, we are now starting to steal some elite kids from Minnesota.”