The Ohio State women's hockey team won the NCAA championship, with Raygan Kirk of Ste. Anne being a goaltender for the team. 

Kirk says it was incredible to have her family out to watch with such a packed arena. 

“The third highest NCAA crowd since 2006, which is incredible, just that energy in that building was amazing. Can't even put it into words.” 

There were a lot of lasts for Kirk this year like last home game, last road trip, and last warm-up. 

She says all 'the lasts' can get quite emotional, but she did her best to live in the moment and enjoy it. 

“And I just really tried to focus on staying confident and consistent throughout the year, and just having fun no matter who we were playing and what the action was like.” 

Kirk was a little sentimental before the championship game, as it was sinking in that it was her last college game. 

Kirk warming up with the team

However, once she was on the ice and in the game, Kirk says she settled in. 

“The team was fired up, and we had so much confidence in each other in the locker room, and I just knew it was going to be a great game.” 

She says it’s been a fantastic year at Ohio State, and the coaches and the team had confidence in her going into playoffs, allowing her to have that number one role. 

“Which was really exciting, and just shows the amount of work that I put in the past three years here.”  

She says she didn’t realize it was the end of the game until hearing the buzzer and seeing her team flying off the bench and onto the ice to gather and celebrate. 

“I definitely ended up at the bottom of that pile, but it was just incredible that feeling. And definitely emotional afterward when it was sinking in.” 

Now that the championship is over, Kirk has returned to classes. 

She’s currently focusing on school, celebrating with the team, and is excited to graduate in May. 

“I'm hoping to declare into the PWHL draft and see where that journey brings me, it’s amazing even just be able to say those words, thinking this time last year when you didn't know if that was an option yet.” 

Kirk with the puck in her glove

Kirk says it’s inspiring to see how much the alumni in the league are enjoying it, as well as seeing how successful both the athletes and the league are. 

“I think it’s amazing for women's hockey. And I hope that I can just be a small part of it in the future.” 

Kirk says having her family support her throughout her career has meant the world to her, and it’s been great to see her family in the stands at many of this year’s games. 

“It's been huge, especially having them this past weekend all the way out in New Hampshire. And my brother, he goes to British Columbia the Okanagan School, so pretty much across the country he came to watch me play, which was super awesome.” 

Kirk with her family

She gives a piece of advice to young women hoping to find a road into the world of professional hockey. 

“Set your mind to it, anything is possible now. Now there's so much more out there for women's sports, even outside of hockey too,” she says. “Continue to push yourself, believe in yourself, and lean on the people around you, because there's nothing like having a great support system to push you to achieve your goals.” 


With files from Dave Anthony