"Gee, I felt as though I was standing still," commented a member of the Varsity hockey squad after the Crimson pucksters had engaged in an informal practice session yesterday afternoon at the Arena with the league-leading Boston Bruins of the American division.
Speed Big Factor
And that was undoubtedly how all the members of the Crimson's first two lines felt after it was all over. All the Bruins, especially Charlie Sands, were able to outskate even the fleetest of the Harvard skaters. For the relative speed of the two squads was the only outstanding difference between them. That the Bruin forwards were able to score almost at will served to stress the fact that fast skating is the primary requisite for a good hockey team.
Of course there are several other big differences between the squads, but they were not too evident today because of the light vein in which the practice was conducted form the Bruins' point of view. It was merely a conditioning work-out for a team which had already reached its peak.
Tiny Thompson Clowns
Manager Art Ross hardly opened his mouth. Such Bruin stalwarts as Eddie Shore, Bill Cowley, Cooney Weiland, and Gordon Pettinger were absent. Even Tiny Thompson didn't seem to care how many times the puck was shot past him. Rather he played the clown most the time and purposely left the net undefended on many occasion to engage in mad scrambles several feet out. At one time he carried the puck to center ice before losing it. At the time someone mentioned that Tiny was once the fastest member of the Bruins on skates. He did pretty well today even with the pads on.
Captain Traf Hicks and Goaler Wint Freedley, unlike their team-mates, had a pretty easy time of it. For they played with the Bruins liens. Traf paired with Flash Hollett on defense and picked up a few valuable pointers. Vint had only to stop occasional attempts of the Crimson lines and a shot or two from the stick of burly Jack Portland who was the only other defenseman there besides Hoilett.
Clapper Gets In the Way
As a matter of fact Hollott and Portland weren't the only Bruin defensemen there. Dit Clapper was there too. He didn't scrimmage, however, because he is still nursing a recent injury. Instead he just skated around the rink and managed to interfere with play a good deal of the time. Once we couldn't help hearing Art Ross fly off: "Dit, get the hell out of the way." Being the largest Bruin excepting Portland, Dit found this rather difficult.
"Must Be the Bruins"
Despite the fact that the practice was held from 12:30 to 1:30 o'clock quite a few spectators turned up to view proceedings. One can imagine the immensity of the throng from the remark of a member of the Freshman Hockey team: "There's even a lot more people here than come to our games. It must be the Bruins." Several officials of the H. A. A. were also seen there, probably to make sure that none of Stubbsmen were tempted to renounce there amateur standing.
It was a big occasion for the Freshman managers too. They had the privilege of wrapping the Bruins in blankets when they came off the ice. When a certain manager had failed to encircle a Bruin after the fifth attempt, the Bruin was heard to say, "You can learn in four easy lessons." It sounds like a snap course.