Sports, Women's Hockey, Hockey, Athletics

Captains Cayla Barnes and Hannah Bilka Transfer to Ohio State

After nine combined seasons and 186 total points, Cayla Barnes and Hannah Bilka’s time as Boston College women’s hockey players is over. The pair of captains will take the ice for Ohio State next season, as announced by the Buckeyes on Saturday. 

Sixty of Barnes’ and Bilka’s 186 points came during the 2022–23 season. Bilka led the Eagles with 41 points this past season while Barnes took the lead on defense, leading BC’s roster with 63 blocks. The duo will join the National Championship runner-up Buckeyes in 2023 under head coach Nadine Muzerall.

Bilka and Barnes each leave behind storied careers as Eagles under BC head coach Katie Crowley. 

Bilka burst onto the scene in 2019 during her freshman year, earning Women’s Hockey Commissioner’s Association and Hockey East Rookie of the Year honors while leading the Eagles in points with 37. 

Bilka recorded a career-high four goals against Holy Cross as a freshman. As a sophomore she was named a Hockey East Third Team All Star, and as a junior she earned Hockey East First Team honors following the 2021–22 season. 

Bilka was chosen for the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship roster, scoring 12 points while helping lead the United States to a silver medal. 

Barnes first laced up her skates as an Eagle during the 2017–18 season, but she played in just five games before being called to the U.S. Women’s National Team in preparation for the Olympics. She won gold in 2018 at the PyeongChang Olympics as Team USA’s youngest skater, appearing in all five games. 

Barnes returned to BC as a redshirt freshman for the 2018–19 season, playing in 36 games and tallying 19 points before being elected to the Hockey East All-Star Third Team and All-Rookie Team. The next season, Barnes was promoted to the Hockey East Second Team and named one of three finalists for Hockey East Player of the Year. 

Barnes became the 10th junior captain in BC history during the 2020–21 season and then returned to the Olympics during that offseason, missing BC’s 2021–22 season. She played all seven games for Team USA in Beijing, coming home with six points and a silver medal. During the 2022–23 season, Barnes registered 19 points on six goals and 13 assists in her fifth—and final—year as an Eagle. 

Barnes and Bilka’s departures mark the end of an era for BC, with the pair contributing to all aspects of BC’s game during its time on the Heights—Bilka attacked the net as a forward while Barnes fought for blocks on defense. 

Barnes and Bilka depart BC with just one remaining year of eligibility. The Buckeyes came up a goal short of the national title in 2023, while BC failed to qualify for the tournament.

March 26, 2023