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Jr. Ducks, Lady Ducks Alum Cayla Barnes Wins NCAA Title, Returns to Women's National Team

By Chris Bayee, 04/01/24, 11:15AM PDT


Former Jr. Ducks and Lady Ducks player Cayla Barnes

Cayla Barnes

As seasons go, it would be pretty tough to top the one Cayla Barnes is putting together.

The former Jr. Ducks and Lady Ducks player recently won an NCAA championship with Ohio State, was selected to the U.S. Women's National Team again and reportedly is in position to be the first overall pick in June's PWHL draft.

How good was Barnes this season for the Buckeyes? Not only did she lead NCAA hockey with an other-worldly plus-71 plus/minus rating, but she essentially lifted Ohio State to a title against defending champion Wisconsin.

The defenseman, who also won an Olympic gold medal in 2018 and silver in 2022, stripped the puck from Wisconsin captain and USA teammate Britta Curl, then wheeled with the puck and initiated the play that led to the game's only goal. Barnes' perfect pass to Hannah Bilka eventually turned into Joy Dunne's winning goal.

Barnes, who played four seasons at Boston College, transferred to Ohio State for her fifth "Covid" season. She earned All-American honors for both programs and capped her NCAA career with 36 points in 39 games this season.

Barnes also made Team USA's World Championship squad for the sixth time, it was announced over the weekend. She won gold in 2019 and 2023 and silver in 2021-22. Prior to that, she was the first three-time U18 World Championshp gold medalist (2015-17). 

Jr. Ducks Alums Buium, Harris Reach Frozen Four

Two former Jr. Ducks players, Zeev Buium and Sam Harris, reached the Frozen Four with the University of Denver over the weekend. Both are freshmen for the Pioneers. 

Buium, who has 49 points through 40 games, was selected the NCHC's Rookie of the Year and Offensive Defenseman of the Year. Harris scored the winning goal in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Cornell and has 14 goals and 21 points in 40 games. The Pioneers play Boston University in a national semifinal on April 11.