9 X 9 = Hossa? Girl Honors Blackhawks Star in Math Exam

By Justin Breen on May 24, 2013 7:39am | Updated on May 24, 2013 9:43am

CHICAGO — Technically, Maggie Ciara was correct.

During a multiplication test Maggie took Wednesday, she answered the question of 9 times 9 with "Hossa," as in Chicago Blackhawks star Marian Hossa, who wears No. 81.

"I thought it would be funny to do it," Maggie, a third-grader at Columbus Manor Elementary School, said from her Oak Lawn home Thursday.

Her teacher, Christine Mech, circled the answer and wrote "What is this?" in red pen. When Maggie explained her response, Mech gave her credit, and she received an A+.

"Maggie is a very clever little girl," said Mech, who's a Hawks fan and knew what Maggie was up to. "I love the way Maggie has a sense of humor. She did get her 100 percent on the quiz, and we had a little bit of a laugh afterward."

Maggie's mother, Diane, posted a photo of the exam Wednesday afternoon, and it already has more than 1,300 "Likes" on Facebook. It even has appeared on the Blackhawks official Facebook page.

"I can't believe how fast it's spread," Diane Ciara said. "I didn't think it would take off like that."

Maggie said the Blackhawks are her favorite team — she celebrated her ninth birthday in early April at a Hawks game — and Hossa is one of her most treasured players.

On Thursday, she wrote a letter to the Hawks addressed to Hossa that in part said: "I hope this brings you good luck in the playoffs and in hoisting the Cup again."

The Blackhawks will need more than luck against the arch-rival Detroit Red Wings in the second round of this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. After Detroit's 2-0 win Thursday, the Red Wings lead the series 3-1 and can eliminate the Presidents' Trophy-winning Hawks in Game 5 Saturday at the United Center.

Maggie said she's usually a "very serious" student and has never put a silly answer like "Hossa" on a test.

But she might do the same if she ever sees "8 times 11." Chicago's Patrick Kane, her favorite player, wears No. 88.

"But we haven't learned our 11s yet," she said.