The possibility that the varsity hockey team will receive an invitation to the NCAA Tournament in Colorado Springs next month may not rest entirely on the sextet's remaining Ivy League matches.
Even if the sextet could sweep its final nine games, including six in the League, this could mean nothing towards an invitation to the national tourney. The team's schedule this year has included only two of the main contenders for Eastern honors, while its leading competitors, Clarkson and St. Lawrence, have been battled all season with top-ranked sixes.
Over the past years, however, the Eastern Selection Committee has followed an unofficial pattern of picking one team from the New England area and the other from the further west Tri-State League. Last season RPI and Boston College were selected, while in 1953 Yale and St. Lawrence made the trip.
If this same pattern is used this year, then only Ivy League upsets and the Beanpot Tourney next Monday may stand between the sextet and its chance to meet the Canadian-stocked giants of the West, which should be chosen from among Western League leader Colorado College, North Dakota and Michigan Tech.
Crimson Coach Cooney Weiland, himself an alternate for one of the three posts on the Eastern Selection Committee, is too concerned about the present fight in the Ivy Leapue to speculate on his NCAA chances.
Princeton and the varsity are the only teams left unbeaten in the League thus far and the Crimson has been tied once.
Although Weiland expects trouble from every Ivy opponent, Yale and Brown appear to be the greatest obstacle to the team's second consecutive League title. Yale, with its brilliant goalie, George Scherer, who has totaled as many as 51 saves in one game, has defeated Boston College and Brown, while the Bruins have already deadlocked the varsity earlier this season.
Weiland, apparently satisfied with the squad's improving performances, is not anticipating any lineup changes yet. Mario Celi, a lineman on last year's championship squad, will be ready to play for the first time this season and should prove to be an asset to the team's offensive power. Senior Ted Cooney is another recent line prospect and may work in with third linemen Tom Worthen, Derrick Nicholas, and Alby Wells.
Bill Cleary, who ranks second among the leading Eastern scorers, will continue to center the first line between Doug Manchester and Terry O'Malley, with Joe Crehore alternating when Manchester moves back to defense. Captain Scott Cooledge will flank center Frank Mahoney and Ned Bliss on the right side of the second line.