The new varsity hockey team will undergo its first test tonight when it meets Northeastern University, which is rated an underdog by pre-season speculation, at 9 p.m. in the Boston Garden.
Boston College will face Providence College in the preliminary match at 7 p.m.
Tonight's season's opener is expected to give Crimson coach Cooney Weiland an opportunity to see if his five forwards, two of whom he converted to defense, are as effective as last year's normal combination of line and defensemen.
Actually, Northeastern should not be too much of a match for a strong offensive team. In their initial contest last Saturday the Huskies were whipped, 6 to 1, by a generally low scoring Yale team.
Weiland's defending Pentagonal League champions will enlist the services of only one experienced defenseman tonight, hard body-checking Ned Almy, who will work with Arty Noyes, an ex-lineman. The starting defense includes Doug Manchester, last year's high scorer, and Pete Summers, wingman.
The position shifting was brought on primarily by the absence of two of last year's leading undergraduate defensemen, Jim Moynihan and Ed Mrkonich, who did not return to College this year. Weiland, therefore, expects to switch his line combinations continually during the game, but he will probably start with Bill Cleary centering between Ned Bliss and Terry O'Malley. It will be O'Malley's first appearance in the Crimson uniform after playing for five years on city teams in Ontario, Canada.
Crehore Centers Second Line
Veteran Charlie Flynn is expected to start in the goal with some possibility that sophomore Jim Bailey may see some action later in the game.
Captain Scott Cooledge will flank the right side of the second line at first and may be tried with Cleary's line afterwards. Centering the second line will be converted wingman Joe Crehore, with Frank Mahoney on the left side.
All prospects for the third line posts will probably see action if the game runs true to form. Last year the varsity downed the Huskies twice, 6 to 2 and 7 to 2.
Dick Allen, Pete Frye, and Alby Wells will be the starting third line trio with Derek Nicholas and Tom Worthen and other former jayvee and freshman players alternating later in the game.
The varsity may also meet Northeastern in the two Boston tourneys during the next two months. A new eight-team tourney will be held in Boston starting Dec. 27 in addition to the annual Bean Pot Round Robin on Feb. 7-8.