Sextet Plays Providence College In Second Try for Win Tonight
The New Varsity Hockey Team, complete with a strong defense and three coordinated forward lines, tonight will try to forget that it lost the season's opener to Providence College.
Still sparkling after a 10-0 rout of Middlebury over the weekend, Coach Cooney Weiland's sextet will face the Providence team again in the Boston Garden at 9 p.m.
The odds for the game are still about the same as before the first match, despite the fact that Providence won that one, 6-3. The Crimson is again a favorite to defeat a sophomore team which has easily set down three straight Ivy League sextets.
Since their opening games, however, the two opponents have taken different paths. The Friars looked outstanding against the Crimson, mediocre against Princeton (5-2) and only fair against Brown (4-2). The varsity, meanwhile, has gone on to beat Norwich (6-2) and Middlebury.
Providence coach Tom Eccelson is the first to admit this difference. "We were playing over our heads against Harvard," he said last night. "I only hope we can keep it close tonight. I doubt if Harvard was in good enough condition last time."
Team Shaped Up
This time, however, Weiland insists the team has shaped up. The blue-line pair of Bob McVey and Bob Owen seems to have solved the defense problem with some outstanding help from an alternate duo of Maurice Balboni and Dick Mc-Laughlin.
Captain Jim Bailey in the goal has also improved greatly since the season's start and in his first varsity shutout on Saturday was credited with some spectacular saves.
This was the main difficulty in the team's loss to Providence, and Weiland commented last night that it was all changed now. "We're a different team," he said, "and we're going to surprise them."
On the offense, Paul Kelley has been a big boost to veterans Bob Cleary and Lyle Guttu and this first line has been the most effective on the squad. Close behind is the sophomore trio of George Higgenbottom, Dick Fischer and Dave Vietze.
Providence will skate approximately the same team as it did in the opener with a first line of Lou LaFontaine, George Boudreau and Lou Borile. This line accounted for four of the goals in the 6-3 win.
Providence's second line, which has played together for six years, starting in grammar school, will include center Gil Domingue and Ray and Bob Labee, who each scored once against the Crimson.
The Crimson's third line will alternate between Leslie Duncan, Dave Holmes, Bill Collins, Bill Deford, and Dick Reilly