Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yale senior Dan Otto out for season

Yale senior forward Dan Otto's hockey career is over. He suffered a concussion in the Bulldogs' Dec. 7 game at UMass, and has been suffering from post concussion syndrome. Otto's condition forced him to withdraw from school for the semester because he has been unable to concentrate in classes or focus on schoolwork.

He will remain in New Haven, where he is receiving treatment, with the intent of returning to school to complete the remaining handful of credits he needs for his degree in September. Otto, one of the hockey team's top students, made the decision just before classes began earlier this month.

Otto's return to hockey after a four-year layoff was inspiring. He's endured three surgeries (two failed) for a sports hernia suffered during his final season of Junior hockey. There were further complications due to an excess of scar tissue. For two full years, he drove from New Haven to Boston to see a specialist once a week. He was finally healthy enough to begin practicing last December, though he didn't play in any games, and cracked Yale's starting lineup in the preseason.

Otto scored two goals in a win at Union in November, which represent his lone collegiate points.

"We're all grateful he was able to be a regular player for us in the first half of the season, and he was able to score a couple of goals in a Yale uniform," Yale coach Keith Allain said. "He'll always have that. When you consider the time and effort he put in to having that opportunity, we were glad he was able to fill that dream."

Since he's not enrolled at Yale, Otto has a semester's worth of eligibility remaining. But, Allain said, the injury is serious enough that he will not play again.

"It's tough for our team, and him," Yale junior forward Andrew Miller said. "He was such a big part of our team at the beginning of the season. He was a great attribute to our team, he was so hard-working, it's tough to lose a guy like that who's done so much to get back."


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