The class of 2019 is one that has featured many key players over the past four seasons for Ohio. This article is a part of a larger series that The Post will conduct on all seven members of the senior class.
Four years ago, Gabe Lampron left behind his junior hockey team and started a new chapter when he enrolled at Ohio University.
The day prior to him leaving for Athens, he was going to leave his hockey bag at home. He was ready to move on from the game — until he realized he wasn’t.
“My mom was like ‘are you sure you don’t want to bring your bag?‘” Lampron said. “She goes, ‘you might as well try out and who knows what will happen.’ So, I said ‘screw it’ and brought it and tried out.”
Lampron, along with senior defenseman Tom Pokorney, both made the team after the three-day try out process. He was put on the ropes in his first two seasons. Lampron appeared in just 38 games and amassed 15 total points.
A moment of anguish for the forward in his early playing days at Ohio came on one of the longest road trips of the season – to Iowa State.
On the bus for roughly 14 hours, Lampron was scratched for both games of the series in favor for more experienced players against one of the Bobcats’ more formidable opponents.
“I don’t like to talk about that,” he said. “We had a pretty good team that year, a lot of older guys. We won the first game, and the second game (Sean Hogan) didn’t change anything. It still leaves a little sour taste in my mouth.”
While the taste may or may not linger, Lampron’s development in his first two years has paid off in his last two.
A season ago, the moniker “Big Goal Gabe” was heard several times outside the locker room in Bird Arena. While it’s a nickname he earned in his freshman campaign after he tied a game in the national tournament, it was solidified last season on several occasions.
On the biggest stage of the season, Ohio was tied at one with UNLV in the American Collegiate quarterfinals. Near the mid-way point of the third period, Lampron netted Ohio’s second goal of the game
As the Rebels responded barely two minutes later to send the game to overtime, nobody knew who would go home.
On a net-front scrum, Lampron delivered. Ohio won and advanced in the tournament. The then-junior winger was embraced by his teammates left and right as they celebrated on the ice.
It’s a moment he’ll never forget.
“Big goal Gabe struck again,” Lampron said through a grin after Thursday’s practice.
That grin has been a staple for Lampron and the Bobcats. Through the tough and happy times, coach Sean Hogan has always been able to rely on Lampron’s positive attitude that he brings everyday.
“I’m really proud of Gabe,” he said. “In the four years I’ve been around Gabe, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him not want to practice or not want to be at the rink, and that’s a remarkable thing because there are very few people who are like that.”
With such a relentlessness to him, it’s not a surprise that Lampron will be missed next season.
A player who hadn’t played many games or scored many points in his first two seasons will now depart as one of the team’s most crucial skaters.
Four years ago, Lampron made the decision to take his hockey bag with him on a chance his playing days weren’t yet done.
It’s a decision that’s paid off.