An awkward hit delivered during the Cyclone Hockey team’s first meeting with Ohio this season has plagued freshman forward Chase Rey ever since.
Rey received an upper body check in the series against the Bobcats, which caused his shoulder to dislocate. He would not be seen on the ice for the next five games.
Returning in the No. 10 Cyclones (32-9-3, 14-5-1 CSCHL) series with Minot, Rey helped beat the Beavers in their first matchup with a tie breaking goal in the third period. He racked 13 more total points in the following weeks.
But when the Cyclones were on the road to face Lindenwood, Rey’s injury resurfaced. The ligaments in his arm were weakened by the initial incident, making it more likely for his shoulder to pop out of place again.
While wearing his brace, Rey said he must have moved out of its range, causing him to re-aggravate the injury, which put him back on the inactive list.
Iowa State gears up to compete in the Central State Collegiate Hockey League Tournament this coming weekend, Feb. 21-23, and Rey hopes he will be given the OK to play.
“I think so,” Rey said about being healthy for the conference tournament. “This week will tell. I haven’t done any contact for the past two weeks. So this week will be a good indicator of how things are and how my shoulder is feeling.”
On Feb. 20, Rey will fly down to St. Louis to see an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate the condition of his shoulder. The doctor will weigh on how soon Rey can return.
In his time out of the lineup, Rey has been attending physical therapy to try to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder socket. He did elect, however, to have surgery in the offseason to repair it, so it does not nag him for the remainder of his hockey career at Iowa State.
Even though he has missed 12 games this season, Rey is still the fourth leading scorer for the Cyclones with 25 total points. But he does not want to be made active until he is completely healthy, as he said there are other players on the team that can replace his stick on the ice.
“It’s unfair to my team to play if I’m not 100 percent,” Rey said. “If there is someone that is a 100 percent, I feel comfortable putting any of those guys in the lineup. I’d be comfortable telling [ISU coach Jason Fairman], maybe I’m not ready.”
One Cyclone that would prefer to see Rey back sooner than later is ISU forward Mark Huber. Huber said that Rey has been a big asset to the team.
“[Rey] moves the puck well,” Huber said. “He is a very good player. Straight out of juniors at 19, he is definitely one of our better stick handlers.”
Recently, Iowa State has not been practicing on Mondays, along with having lighter practice throughout the week. Rey believes this time off is giving him and other players dealing with injuries a chance to recuperate faster.
“It is a long season,” Rey said. “Really, it is okay to shorten practices. It gives us a little bit more of a rest because that is what we are going to need. We have covered everything we could really cover from here on out. The next three weeks are going to be tough, so that is why I think we need all the rest we can get right now.”
Rey may want to play in the upcoming conference tournament, but Fairman seems to have already decided his fate.
“Chase Rey won’t be playing this weekend at all,” Fairman said.