Beck returns after long injury

Beck returns after long injury

Breadcrumb Trail Links Sports Hockey Ottawa 67 forward Jack Beck has been out for 23 games with injury. He returned to the lineup for last night’s game in Barrie against the Colts. Valerie Wutti Photo content of the article

Frankie Benvenuti
Especially for the sun

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October 28, 2022. That was the last time Jack Beck saw game action.

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Just a minute into the game against the Peterborough Petes, Beck scored home his second goal of the season but was accidentally knocked down after releasing the puck. He was slow to get to his feet and left the game shortly after.

In the first 10 games of the season, Beck got off to a strong start, collecting 13 points and helping the 67ers win their first nine games.

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Suddenly the Richmond Hill, Ontario. native found himself in an unfortunately familiar situation: convalescing for a long time.

Last season, Beck suffered an injury in November and didn’t return until February. History repeated itself in 2022 and early 2023, and again Beck was unable to play the sport he loves.

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“The big problem with both injuries was that I couldn’t do anything,” said Beck. “It got pretty boring. You just sit there, you can’t train, you can’t skate and you can’t do much with the team, so you don’t really feel like you’re a part of it.”

Of course, the hockey side of the injury is unfortunate. The 67ers have played without Beck in their last 23 games but isolated the personal side.

“You live in a different city, so you don’t see your family that much,” Beck said. “If hockey is taken away from you, that’s the worst thing – hockey is my life. It’s hard to sit on the sidelines and watch everything.”

As he got healthier, Beck began being around the team more often, watching practice and games, and serving as a cheerleader of sorts. He began skating alone, with the Calgary Flames even sending in their skating coach to ensure his development continued, but on Tuesday, Beck hit a milestone: The yellow training jersey was gone.

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“It’s so beautiful,” Beck said, laughing. “It feels like I’m part of the team again.”

Each step of the recovery process has brought some relief for Beck, but he always looked forward to getting back on the ice for a game. He was “confident” in the first 10 games of the season, but the abrupt end essentially pushed his season’s reset button.

Having already endured a long-term injury, Beck says he chose to think differently this time and used it as an opportunity to come back better. As the first second leg approaches, so do all the mixed feelings he’s felt at different stages of his career.

“As you get closer, you get anxious and excited,” Beck revealed. “You get butterflies to play with again, it almost feels like the start of the season.”

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Already accustomed to high production levels, Beck knows that breaking through is never easy, especially at OHL level. Right now he’s not worried about scoring, he just wants to put down a good shift every time he’s on the ice.

“Don’t rush it, think too much, and don’t try to do too much because if you do, it will slow down your production,” Beck said. “We just have to play as a team and I know it’s going to be fine.”

A road trip has always been an exciting thought for Beck, but after months of not doing roadies with the boys, there’s something special about boarding the bus to Barrie. He looks forward to being just steps away from his friends, and he looks forward to spending time on the bus, which many players take for granted.

In the end there is only one goal for Beck: to win.

“I just want this team to win a Memorial Cup, I want to be a part of that,” Beck said.

Beck’s long-awaited return to the 67ers’ lineup comes Thursday night when the 67ers visit the Barrie Colts before stopping by the Niagara IceDogs on Friday and returning home on Sunday to host the Owen Sound Attack at 2:00 p.m

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