In a year that has seen Tessa Bonhomme gain entry into the Triple Gold Club by winning the 2014 Clarkson Cup with the Toronto Furies, another accolade recognizes her impact as an elite women’s hockey player. Having played NCAA hockey for the Ohio State Buckeyes, she gained the university’s ultimate recognition for a student-athlete.
She gained induction into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame. Among the 13 members that comprised the Class of 2014, she was introduced to Buckeyes fans during the halftime of the Buckeyes football game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on September 27. Of note, Bonhomme was one of four women that were part of this year’s Hall of Fame Class. She was joined by Nancy Darsch (women’s basketball coach), Becky Kim (synchronized swimming) and Tami Smith (women’s track and field).
Although the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame first opened in 1977, it did not induct its first women until 1993. Since then, 106 women have gained the honor. Of note, Bonhomme is the second women’s hockey player inducted into the Hall. Emma Laaksonen (who competed with the Finnish national women’s team), was part of the 2009 Class.
Bonhomme joined the Buckeyes in the autumn of 2003 and would compete on the program with future CWHL teammates such as Amber Bowman and Erika Vander Veer. She would redshirt for the 2005-06 season in order to attend Canada’s Centralization Camp (in preparation for the 2006 Sochi Winter Games). Although she was not named to the Sochi roster, she would return to Ohio State with a remarkable character and determination that defined her career at all levels she played at.
Her first season back (2006-07) saw Bonhomme log 36 points on the strength of 22 assists, while earning Second Team All-America honors and finishing as a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Such would repeat such honors in her senior season, although the All-America recognition was for the first team, complemented by the winning of 2008 WCHA Player of the Year Honors.
By the time she graduated from Ohio State, she did so as the program’s all-time scoring leader among blueliners with 128 points, along with the single season scoring record for most points by a blueliner with 45 (accomplished in her senior season). She would ride such momentum with a chance to compete on the Canadian national team, earning a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, one of the great pinnacles of her career.
Her presence with the Buckeyes led to an unprecedented period of success for the proud Buckeyes program, which also involved the recruiting of some remarkable future stars. Players such as Hokey Langan, all-time leading goal scorer (and 2014 Sochi Gold Medalist) Natalie Spooner, and all-time scoring leader Laura MacIntosh proudly carried on Bonhomme’s legacy, and each is worthy of her own spot in the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.