After tearing two ligaments in his right ankle during a loss to Princeton on November 6, many believed that Hugh Jessiman was finished for the season. Well, surprise, surprise!
Jessiman was back in the Dartmouth lineup for a pair of games this past weekend as the Big Green earned two key wins, concluding their 2004-05 regular season schedule. The 6-6, 217-pounder sported a protective Kevlar guard on the bone above his right skate boot for extra protection.
The three-and-a-half month idle stretch, which included surgery on November 11, certainly tested Jessiman's patience, while at the same time reminding him of how much he missed playing the game.
"I've felt pretty good out there," the junior forward told New Hampshire's Valley News
after returning to the ice last week for his first practice with the team since suffering the injury.
"Physically, maybe I'm not all there, but mentally I'm ready to go. It's been 15 weeks doing a lot of thinking on the couch about how I'm going to be ready to when I get back. ... I may get tired out there, but my heart won't be tired, that's for sure."
Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet, who guided his club to a fifth place ECAC finish at 14-8-0, was impressed enough by Jessiman in practice to insert him into the lineup against Harvard and Colgate.
"He's excited about playing, real excited," said Gaudet in the Valley News
. "I know him really well and I know he's been through a lot, and to progress to this level and feel good and have the doctor clear him to play, I think it's really exciting for Hugh."
Jessiman, the 12th overall selection of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, registered two points (one goal, one assists) and eight penalty minutes in his injury-shortened season of six games. Dartmouth hosts Yale this upcoming weekend (Mar. 4-6) in the first round of the ECAC tournament. Be sure to visit newyorkrangers.com throughout the weekend for coverage.ECAC TOURNAMENT - FIRST ROUND: Yale at Dartmouth
Thompson Arena · Hanover, N.H.
Friday, March 4, 2005 - 7:30 PM ET
Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 7:00 PM ET
Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 7:00 PM ET (if needed)Dartmouth vs. Yale Preview >>