The annual Beanpot Hockey Tournament beginning this Friday at the Boston Garden may decide one of the two Eastern positions for the N.C.A.A. tourney at Colorado Springs.
It is customary for the Eastern Selection Committee to choose one of two Eastern representatives from the Tri-State League (St. Lawrence, R.P.I., and Clarkson) and the other from the New England area (Harvard, Boston College, and Boston University).
After the mid-term interim, the Crimson sextet held a slight edge in records (9-2) over B.C., (7-4) and B.U. (7-4). But Cooney Weiland's team must face both these teams again this season and these games may be the deciding ones.
The Crimson has beaten B.C. once already and split with B.U. In the opening round of the Beanpot, the varsity will meet the Terriers while the Eagles take a breather against Northeastern.
The finals have been put off until Tuesday night because of previous committments in Boston Garden scheduling.
The lapse should give the varsity enough time to get in shape after the exam lay-off--if only it can get by Boston University in the opening round. The team visits Providence Saturday night to play Brown in its second Ivy League contest. The Bruins will be reinforced for the second half of their schedule by high-scoring linemen Bill Sepe and Ed Allard.
B.U. is the problem coach Weiland will begin working on in tonight's first post-exam practice at the Watson Rink. Meanwhile B.U. should gain an advantage in conditioning by playing Brown tonight at the Arena.
One of the main reasons the Crimson lost to B.U. in their last meeting was lack of practive after a layoff. Weiland has admitted this and now he is faced with the same problem.
However, the team should be considerably stronger for the Beanpot than it was in the 4-3 loss. Although center George Higgenbottom is still sidelined, defenseman Dan Ullyot will be playing for the first time this season and hard-shooting John Copeland may also see action.
Weiland's problem thus involves not only some fast conditioning but also some reshuffling of lines and defense pairs in order to fit these men in the lineup.
If the Crimson can get by B.U. (the game will be rated a toss-up), the battle for N.C.A.A. recognition will be only half over. Snooks Kelley's B.C. sextet is remarkable for late season improvement and showed this on Monday by edging strong R.P.I., 2-1