Benn Ferriero is back in a familiar rink today as the Chicago Wolves prepare for today’s 6 p.m. game at Utica’s Memorial Auditorium.
The 27-year-old Ferriero delivered 19 goals and 20 assists in 54 games for Utica last year, but his season ended in early March for some pretty good reasons.
“Torn rotator cuff,” Ferriero said. “Torn labrum. Blown AC joint.”
In typical hockey player fashion, Ferriero played with his injured shoulder as long as he could.
“I got hit last year at the beginning of the season,” he said. “It kind of bothered me all year. Later on, I got hit again and doctors recommended surgery at the end of the year. The second hit finished it off. I couldn’t do as much as I could do before.”
Ferriero underwent surgery on April 22 with an estimated recovery time of six to eight months. Though that meant he wouldn’t be able to play when this American Hockey League season began, the Chicago Wolves and St. Louis Blues were more than happy to scoop him up.
Not only does Ferriero provide five years of AHL experience and a reputation as a guy who plays both ends of the ice, he has delivered 14 goals and 9 assists in 98 career National Hockey League appearances. He also has won an NCAA championship (with Boston College in 2008) and an International Ice Hockey Federation gold medal (with the USA U-18 team in 2005).
After working diligently to complete the rehab process, Ferriero made his Wolves debut last Saturday at Iowa and has posted 1 assist in 3 games. Not bad for somebody who hadn’t played a game in eight months.
“The first game was definitely a battle trying to get my legs underneath me, but I felt all right. I wouldn’t say I felt my best,” said Ferriero, who played back-to-back days against Iowa. “The second game, I felt like I was more up to game speed. My legs still weren’t feeling the best, but the game slowed down for me and I’m feeling pretty good.”