Christian Lampasso’s former teammates used to laugh at him, but now they’re probably wishing they hadn’t.
The freshman forward who once took flack for taking lessons from a figure skating coach has established himself as a speedy winger on the Ohio State men’s hockey roster.
This week, Lampasso has more energy than usual. The Buckeyes (1-3-0) will travel less than 30 minutes from his childhood home to play Canisius College (4-2-0, 3-1-0) in Buffalo, N.Y.
“I recruited pretty much the whole team’s tickets,” Lampasso said. “I’ve got 32 people coming for each game. I told them they all have to wear scarlet or they can’t come.”
Lampasso’s homecoming series is long overdue. Since he moved away from New York as a freshman in high school, he’s called six states home.
“I was pretty much living on my own at 15,” Lampasso said. “I had to grow up fast, but a lot of hockey players do.”
As Lampasso moved through junior hockey, he did it with the speed that has come to characterize his game. His short, choppy strides followed him the whole way, he said.
Former coaches’ attempts to change Lampasso’s skating style have been met with rejection, he said. The lessons from his figure skating coach Sarah Potter, who gave him instruction until age 12, have stuck the most, he said.
This weekend, OSU coach Steve Rohlik is tasked with slowing down the winger who’s defined his game with speed.
“Its funny because that’s his M.O., is his energy,” Rohlik said. “He just doesn’t need to go up and do too much. Just go up and play like he always does with great energy.”
The energetic play is not foreign to the Buckeyes’ roster. Lampasso’s line mate and senior forward Chad Niddery has made his career playing in a similar fashion.
As a result, Niddery said he offers Lampasso advice with regard to patience in the corners or placement of pucks on dump-ins.
“He reminds me a lot of my freshman year,” Niddery said. “Good forechecker, good hitting, good speed. He’s pretty close to me, that’s for sure.”
Niddery, who began his career as a winger but has transitioned to center, said he depends upon Lampasso for his own success as well.
Coming off a bye week, the line mates have had plenty of time to develop additional chemistry.
Rohlik said OSU’s bye week came at a good time, as it allowed the team to readdress fitness and recover from injuries.
After sustaining an injury in OSU’s first game of the season, sophomore forward Nick Schilkey is expected to make his return to the lineup on Friday, Rohlik said.
Canisius enters this weekend following a road series sweep against American International in an Atlantic Hockey Association matchup. The Golden Griffins are set to open their new rink, HARBORCENTER, located in downtown Buffalo on Friday.
The Buckeyes traveled to HARBORCENTER on Thursday to get accustomed to the new rink, Rohlik said.
“There’s only one opening night and for us to be a part of that is certainly pretty special,” Rohlik said. “We’re going to have to play our best hockey.”
-Junior defenseman Blake Doerring (upper-body), senior defenseman Craig Dalrymple (upper-body) and freshman forward Nick Jones (upper-body) will all be out this weekend, Rohlik said.
-Dalrymple skated after Wednesday’s practice, but Rohlik said he’s still “a ways away” from returning to the lineup