For as many years as anyone cares to remember, the major social athletic event of the winte season has been the Harvard Dartmouth hockey game. Annually at one of the hippodromes of the Boston Garden Areas Corporation, some 5,000 loyal alumni of the two institutions assemble to cheer on their respective squads and swap insluts among themselves.
As a general rule, unfortunately, Dartmouth wins.
But in the specific instance of 1949, the Crimson hockey team has already won the game at Honover, and stands a good chance of beating the Indians again. This is the first Harvard squad to wallop Dartmouth in 12 years, but though the team won decisively in January, it is by no means an odds-on favorite tonight.
The new faces in the lineup give the key to the rise of this year's team. Three of them, Bill Clark will probably be on the ice for the face off at 8:30 p.m. Another starter, Lew Preston while hardly a neophyte against Dartmouth, was absent last year in order to play on the ill-fated AHA Olympic team.
The other two starters, Captain Dave Key and defenseman Dick Greeley will be playing their third postwar Dartmouth games at the St. Botolph St. rink.
Of these skaters, perhaps Carman more than any other man brought on the Crimson's recent success. During the team's dismal early season, Coach John Chase was shifting from lineup to lineup in hopes of coming up with the right combination. He found the answer in the January Dartmouth game when he shifted high scorer Carman from wing to reinforce the porous defense.
The strategy paid off. "Carman's performance was the best job we've had at defense all winter," Chase remarked after the game. Since the Dartmouth contest, the entire team picked up aggressiveness and speed, improved its passing and defense, and won its next three games. The last of those was Saturday night's 11 to 0 shutout over Army.
Carman wasn't the only varsity player who stood out in that first Darmouth game. Phill Clark clinched the first-string goalie job and second line center Myles Huntiagton got three goals to lead the scoring. But more than individual performances, team play--the most important element in a hockey team's success--has improved immensely ever since the Crimson's visit to Hanover.
If the varsity can beat the imported Indians tonight the Crimson may very well go through the rest of the season undefeated and win the Pontagonal League title. Whatever happens, tonight's Arena fans are in for a treat.