Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

IceMen's Bicek Learning to Adjust to Life as a Spectator

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

IceMen's Bicek Learning to Adjust to Life as a Spectator

Article excerpt

Brian Bicek has had to learn the hard way that being a spectator at Evansville IceMen games isn't easy. That's not a knock on the team's marketing staff, the Ford Center's ushers or even a commentary about the incessant noise of clanging cowbells. It's simply the harsh reality of a player who has had a dif-ficult time accepting that his season is over now that the IceMen are playing the Missouri Mavericks in the first round of the Central Hockey League playoffs.

"That's been the hardest part, not being out there with the guys," said Bicek, who led the IceMen with 33 goals this season before his season came to a crashing halt on March 8 when he broke his right collarbone during a collision with a teammate at practice. "This is really the first time I've been able to step back and watch games and it's not easy.

"The hardest part about watching is realizing how much you want to be out there helping the team."

Bicek broke the collarbone when he was bowled over by forward John Ronan during offensive drills. "It was just a freak accident.

It was one of those situations we do every day at practice where one line is finishing off a drill and the next line goes.. He didn't see me. I didn't see him," said Bicek. "He just kind of caught me from the side and flipped me over.

"I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I guess it was just my time to get injured."

If it really was just a matter of fate, it stung the Ice-Men at absolutely the worst time.

"Not having him is obviously a big loss for us," said head coach Rich Kromm. "He had a real breakthrough year as far as goal scoring, but he did a lot of other things for us. He played on our power play kill (unit) and provided that speed.

"He's probably the fastest guy in the league, so he's always a threat out there."

Surgery was supposed to be Bicek's quickest option to get back on the ice. Initially, he was even told he may be able to play within a month. But the operation revealed the fracture was worse than expected and a steel plate had to be attached to the full length of the collarbone with six pins holding the bone in place. …

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