Raygan Kirk didn't remain a college free agent for long.
The 20-year-old goaltender from Ste. Anne was left without a team when administrators at Robert Morris University axed its women's and men's hockey programs without warning on May 26.
Less than three weeks later, Kirk and two RMU teammates — defender Emily Curlett and forward Lexi Templeman — have agreed to transfer to Ohio State. All RMU players are eligible to transfer and play immediately.
The Buckeyes, a perennial top 10 NCAA program, should be a good fit for Kirk, the MVP of Canada's gold-medal winning team the 2019 U18 world championship. She'll be able to continue her academic program in environmental science while also competing for the No. 1 job in Columbus.
Last spring, Ohio State reached the NCAA tournament semifinals before losing to eventual champion Wisconsin.
"I didn't want to redshirt — that was my big thing," said Kirk Saturday. "I didn't want to take a year off and just practise when I felt I had a really good past two years... With Ohio (State), I really felt like that I was wanted and that I could be a part of the team and the culture."
Despite the atrocious timing of RMU's move, Kirk said interest in her services over the last few weeks exceeded what she experienced when she was recruited out of high school.
"It's just kind of bittersweet to find a new home but usually people transfer because they don't like where they were or... it wasn't how they expected when they're being recruited," said Kirk. "But no, I loved it there and now you're kind of having to transfer so it's too bad but I'm very grateful to find somewhere (to play)."
With the team's top goaltender, junior Andrea Braendli, being a candidate to play for Switzerland at the Beijing Olympics, Kirk could be well-positioned to compete for the top job.
All told, 55 players and seven staff members were affected by the cuts at RMU.
Kirk had been the No. 1 goaltender at the Pittsburgh-based program with a combined record of 23-6-9 and a .931 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average during her freshman and sophomore seasons.
The Colonials were eliminated from the quarter-finals of the NCAA Tournament in a 5-1 loss to Northeastern on March 15.
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.