Steve Spott called Thursday a wonderful day for the Kitchener Rangers.
The OHL club announced Ben Fanelli has resumed his hockey career nearly two years after suffering serious head injuries from a tragic check by former Erie Otter Michael Liambas in an Oct. 30, 2009 game.
“I can tell Ben Fanelli that he can practice and play with the team,” said Spott, Rangers coach and general manager, during a conference call. Fanelli, an 18-year-old defenseman from Oakville, Ontario, has waited a long time to hear that. He has known for nearly two years that he would one day resume a regular life. But hockey is a regular part of his life, he said.
“I did everything I could to have the chance,” he said.
Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, was thrilled to hear about Fanelli’s return.
“It’s more than wonderful news,” Bassin said. Liambas, 22, now a member of the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, declined to comment. But Bassin said, “Mike Liambas is such a good person. When he heard that news, it made his day. You can be sure of that.”
- Victor Fernandes