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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


For the week of December 4 - 10, 2002

Sports

A star on the horizon

Cody Lampl plays some big time puck


By JODY ZARKOS
Express Staff Writer

Big fish donít usually come out of small ponds.

But there are exceptions to every rule, especially in the case of Ketchum hockey player Cody Lampl.

The 16-year-old Lampl has jumped ponds, so to speak, making the move from Sun Valley Junior Hockey to Midget Triple A, a Tier I league for elite high school players.

Cody Lampl, 16, of Ketchum, is playing Midget Triple A, a Tier I league for elite high school hockey players. Express photo by Willy Cook

 

How does a player from Idaho get noticed in the highly-competitive arena of junior hockey, especially against boys from hockey hotbeds such as Minnesota, Michigan and New England?

Hard work, dedication and showing up when it counts are some of Lamplís reasons.

Lampl, who has been skating since he was seven, played on the Rocky Mountain Region team which went 2-2-2 at the National Hockey Festival in Rochester, N.Y. last July.

"We beat North Dakota and New England, which is huge for the Rocky Mountain team, and we came a game away from the gold medal round," Lampl said. "There were over 100 scouts and after that I got a lot of phone calls."

One was an invitation from coach Dwight Mullens to try out for the Tier I Dallas Stars. After visiting Dallas and skating with the team, Lampl became a Star.

A first-line defenseman, Lampl has 35 points and plays on the power play unit and penalty killing squad for the Stars. Dallas is currently 21-9-5 and currently ranked eighth in the country.

"Itís intense, but fun," Lampl said. "We will play 80 games this season, which is like three seasons up here (Sun Valley). But it is good. It gets you one step closer to where you want to be."

The next step for the 5-9, 150-pound defenseman is the Tier 1óU.S. Hockey League. Lampl was the first player this season to sign a tender, or letter of intent, to play in the elite USHL.

The league, which represents the highest classification of junior hockey in the U.S., seeks to develop its junior talent through an extensive practice and game schedule.

The main purpose of the USHL is to help players, coaches and officials advance their careers to the college or pro level.

Currently 18 USHL alumni are skating in the National Hockey League, including Tyler Arnason and Phil Housley of the Chicago Blackhawks, Shjon Podein of St. Louis and Carolinaís Erik Cole.

The 11-team league has two divisions; East and West. Lampl has signed on with the Sioux Falls Stampede based in South Dakota.

Each team plays a 61-game schedule that runs from late September to early March. After that wraps up, Lampl hopes to be packing his bags for a Division I college.

He has already received a scholarship offer from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Lampl plans to fall back on that if he does not hook up with a school such as Colorado College.

"I still think I am dreaming," Lampl said.

"I thought it would be pretty cool to play Division III hockey, but now I have a shot at Division I. It is just an awesome feeling to be recognized for something you love to do."

Make no mistake. He may be from a small pond, but Cody Lampl is no fish out of water.

 

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.