On Nov. 29, freshman Ben Foster returned from a six-game absence to center Princeton’s second line.
In the second period, with Princeton down 1-0, Foster limped off the ice. He had re-injured his ankle.
“It was frustrating. It felt like I was ready and then once I got on the ice, started playing in the game and in game situations [I wasn’t]. So it was upsetting to re-injure it [and] not be where I thought it was.”
After missing three more games while waiting for his ankle to heal, Foster dressed on Saturday in the Florida College Hockey Classic.
“It definitely felt a lot better today and I don’t think I’ll be re-injuring it, not probably,” Foster said on Saturday.
“It felt good, [the] ankle feels good. … I felt comfortable and that’s about it.”
Coach Bob Prier said Foster, who was one of three players who returned to Princeton’s lineup, didn’t look sharp.
“Potentially he might need a little bit more time, he just didn’t seem to have that same jump as the other two,” Prier said.
Foster, the fourth-line center, finished with a minus-1 rating. He won five of seven faceoffs.
Through his first five games, the Darien, Conn. native was tied for the team lead in points with three. He also netted a goal in his first collegiate game and led Princeton rookies in scoring.
Four games after scoring his first collegiate goal in his first collegiate contest, Foster recorded an assist in Princeton’s 5-2 loss to Yale on Nov. 8.
But after the game, the 6-foot-1 forward limped down the hallways underneath Baker Rink in crutches, still wearing his pads and white Princeton jersey.
He missed the next six games, watching his team go 2-4-0 and lose more players to injury.
“It’s hard,” Foster said. “You want to be in there and help the team and help the guys you’re friends with, but at the end of the day you have to get healthy.
“That’s your job, to get healthy and be back on the ice as soon as possible, help the team by playing as soon as possible.”
The former Choate Rosemary captain missed nine games total but said he learned while watching his team from off the ice.
“I don’t know how to say this. You just see it from afar and you can kind of use that and try to improve your game on the ice,” Foster said.
“Just sitting and watching you [can[ learn the systems, see where they need to improve.”