Ever since suffering serious tendons and artery injuries on a freak play during St. Joe's second hockey game of the season, Shane Scheeler has been focused and determined to do what's necessary to return to the lineup for the playoffs.
The Marauders senior defenseman is set to achieve that goal.
Coach Rich Crozier said Scheeler will return to the lineup for the first time since that Dec. 2 game when he takes the ice Monday night at HarborCenter for St. Joe's first playoff game. The Marauders open defense of their New York State Catholic High Schools Athletic Association championship against Bishop Timon-St. Jude at 8 p.m. in a Niagara Cup semifinal.
The game caps a Niagara Cup doubleheader involving the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation's private school members. Canisius faces St. Mary's of Lancaster top open the twin bill at 6 p.m.
"We're thrilled to have Shane back," Crozier said. "It's also nice a senior will get to end his St. Joe's career on his terms."
Scheeler, a member of last year's championship outfit, was expected to log top defensive-pairing minutes. However, during the team's second game of the season, the skate of a St. Anthony's (L.I.) player accidentally sliced through the tendons and an artery just above Scheeler's wrist during a hit along the boards.
He had surgery two days later to repair tendons and the artery. He then aggressively tackled the rehabilitation process in hopes of a quick recovery. Last month, he was cleared to skate (in a noncontact role). He skated in practice with teammates and also got in some extra work in on his own skating on the family's backyard rink and with his twin brother's team.
Monday, he hits the ice running, again.