Sean Duddy was loaded into an ambulance in front of his somber teammates and coaching staff.
That was the scene for the Ohio State men’s hockey team in Alaska last January.
Duddy had just broken his leg in a game against the Nanooks, an injury that would sideline him for the rest of the season.
Ahead would be six long months of rehab.
“You just have to focus on one week at a time is what I figured out,” Duddy said. “It was hard physically for sure, every day the grind. I was here longer than the guys that were practicing everyday. But I was trying to focus on week by week just getting better, instead of about the whole six months, so that made it way easier for sure.”
Now healed and playing again, Duddy talked about how excited he was to be back on the ice.
“It feels unbelievable,” he said. “You can imagine being off the ice for six months at a time. I’ve never had to do anything like that in my life. That first game against Quinnipiac was probably one of the best moments of my life.”
Before his injury, Duddy had become a regular in the Buckeye lineup as a freshman, due in part to the spark he provided the Buckeyes, coach John Markell said.
The Buckeyes again are looking for Duddy to provide that spark as the team has struggled through the first part of the season.
Duddy is stepping up for OSU as a sophomore, having already matched his assist total from last year, including two assists in the Buckeyes’ upset win over Bemidji State Saturday.
However, the defenseman is yet to record a goal for the Buckeyes. Duddy acknowledged that he needs to work on scoring.
Duddy recorded eight goals in his two seasons prior to coming to Ohio State. In the 2007-08 season, Duddy played for the Wichita Falls Wildcats and was named their Defensive Player of the Year. Before his time with the Wildcats, Duddy played a season with the Capital Centre Pride AAA team. But moving from team to team doesn’t seam to bother Duddy, as he’s been moving his entire life.
He was originally born in Stockholm, Sweden, before moving to the United States and growing up in Ann Arbor, Mich. Having grown up and gone to school in the shadow of the University of Michigan, his choice to come to Ohio State might have been controversial, but Duddy found the decision quite easy.
“It wasn’t much of a choice,” Duddy said. “It was a good fit for me. I like the guys here, I like the coaching staff and it’s close to home too.”
This weekend Duddy will get to face off with his hometown foes as Ohio State hosts Michigan.
This is the first time Duddy will face Michigan. He was injured last year when the teams met.
The games are 7:05 p.m. Friday and 8:05 p.m. Saturday at the Schottenstein Center.