Men’s hockey hopes to get back on the ice

When Soren Colstrup, Ryan Paul, and Ryan Lambert began playing hockey before entering kindergarten, they had no idea their season would come to a halt because of a pandemic – for the second time.

All three men have had to cope with the sudden loss of competing in a sport they’ve played their entire life.

Senior Soren Colstrup began his hockey career at age 2 in Albert Lea, Minnesota where his grandmother owned an ice rink. 

He played youth hockey growing up saying it was a “commonplace thing to do” as it was the most affordable sport in Minnesota. After youth hockey, he continued playing through high school and after graduating, was drafted to a Washington junior hockey team. 

Colstrup played junior hockey for three years before coming to Framingham State. 

He enjoyed his time playing junior hockey because he said it gave him the opportunity to be an adult. 

“When you’re between the ages of 19 and 21, you are very malleable as a person and you are still developing your sense of right and wrong. I think becoming an adult was a big experience for me, as I had to live on my own.”

At Framingham State, Colstrup is a forward averaging 4 goals per season. 

He said his favorite aspect of playing at FSU is the bond among players.

Colstrup added, “I think since our school is a commuter school it gives us a different perspective. The hockey players are generally older, so they kind of stand out on campus so it’s nice to be close with them.” 

He discussed the team’s relationship with their coach Mike Bailey. 

Colstrup said Bailey treats everyone with the same level of respect. 

“I think that bleeds into how the players treat each other,” he said. 

Colstrup explained how the team prepared for the season pre COVID-19. 

He said they start training the second week of September with captain’s practices for five weeks, followed by tryouts, then team scrimmages. 

This year, COVID-19 canceled their season. “It wasn’t as big of a shock to me as I work at an ice rink in Wellesley. I was given a lot of information about how the rinks would be closed down. I was not surprised. I felt like it was unfortunate how the players were left in the dark,” he said. 

“But, I know the school had a lot of tough decisions to make,” Colstrup added. 

As of right now, due to COVID-19, the team is not holding any practices or activities, he said.

Colstrup said there is one positive that resulted from his season being canceled this year. 

“It allowed me to focus more on academics. I think as a senior, my classes have been more difficult as I have progressed in college. It’s a little bit of a blessing to be able to focus more on school this time around,” he said. 

“It’s really easy to let things go by and focus on getting through [practices and games] and letting your obligations fall behind. I have become more organized as an adult,” Colstrup added. 

Although the time off has been beneficial for his academics, he said he misses being competitive. 

“I am very competitive. I enjoy any sort of game whether it be video games or beating my brother at checkers. I miss that the most. Also, I miss being with all the guys. It’s tough right now because of the restrictions for group settings,” said Colstrup. 

He recalled two men on the team who inspired him to be a better player. 

Colstrup said, “There are a lot of people that come to mind. I would say the people who inspire me the most would be a dead tie between Trevor Lewendowski and Brian Koszek. They are very good leaders on and off the ice. They are great people. They only have one side to themselves, which is serious, but every once in a while you can get a smile out of them. 

He added, “I think how they treat other people and how they hold themselves on the ice is reflective of how they interact in their personal lives. I can’t say enough good things about them. They make me want to be a more honest athlete and student.”

Colstrup recalled a memorable moment during his time playing for FSU. 

“Last year we beat Worcester State which is kind of ironic because my freshman year we also did. We haven’t won all semester then the first game back from winter break we beat them. There was a snowstorm and we ended up having to take two buses. It was a great memory,” said Colstrup. 

He offered advice to FSU athletes. 

“For those who aren’t seniors, enjoy it. Count your blessings. Soak up all the time with your friends. It goes by within a blink of an eye,” said Colstrup. 

He added he is thankful to attend Framingham State.

Captain Ryan Paul, a senior, began playing hockey at age 4 in his hometown of Morgan, Vermont. He said his dad also grew up playing the sport. 

“I lived on the Canadian border. It was something fun to do to also pass time,” said Paul.

He played on countless teams in Canada and it was different being the only English speaking kid on a team. 

When he started playing junior hockey, Paul said he played for the Junior Bruins first, then The New England Stars.

Paul is a center and averages 8-or-9 goals per season on the team. 

He said he chose to play hockey at FSU because he already knew a few kids on the team and he connected well with the coach. 

Paul recalled his favorite aspects about the team. 

“I like that throughout my years I have consistently seen the team grow tighter. I like that the core group of guys all have the same morals and expectations,” he said. 

“I am basically the bridge between my coaches and the team. I am the leader of the team, as I have been a captain since junior year,” Paul added. “I let my actions speak for my words.”

Like Colstrup, Paul was saddened by this season being canceled. 

He said, “It was kind of a let down. We put a lot on the line to be here and we delayed our lives by playing junior [hockey]. It was a big disappointment and I think some guys are having trouble coping with it.” 

As Paul has more free time on his hands, he said he is spending more time with his family in Vermont and applying for internships. 

“I am getting ready for the real world after I graduate next semester,” he said. 

Paul also shared who on the FSU team inspires him the most. 

“Matt Cucinata. Every time I look at him he’s battling his heart out whether it’s in a warm up drill or practice,” he said.

Paul offered advice to FSU athletes. 

“At this point, hang in there. The end is almost in sight with the scientists making strides towards a vaccination. I think the spring athletes should definitely have their heads up,” he said. 

Ryan Lambert, a sophomore forward, said he started playing hockey at the age of 4. 

He said his favorite part of playing for FSU is being with his teammates. 

“The team has a family-like mentality. We try to be together as a team whenever we can to try and develop a good chemistry with everyone,” said Lambert. 

Like Colstrup and Paul, Lambert felt disappointed by this season being canceled. 

“When we found out our season was canceled, we were all heartbroken.”