Still vibrating from the tension of last Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Army, the varsity hockey team takes on St. Lawrence tonight at the Arena in the semifinals of the ECAC tournament. The Crimson will play at 9 p.m., after the Clarkson-Colby contest.
Coach Cooney Welland's second-needed sextet will carry a 21-4 record into tonight's content. St. Lawrence, a 2-0 victim of the Crimson last December, is seeded fourth with a 15-7-1 season mark.
Top-ranked Clarkson built its record to an imposing 20-1-1 with a 6-3 triumph over Providence Tuesday, and third-seeded Colby (20-3-2) made it to the semi-finals by virtue of a 7-6 squeaker over R.P.I.
The Crimson's sick list, which reached outlandish proportions for the Army game, has dwindled somewhat. Tim Taylor, out for two weeks with a charley horse, will probably return to action tonight, and Chris Norris is back at full strength. Captain Dave Grannis and Dave Johnston have had time to recover from the flu attacks that have laid them low. Ike Ikauniks' heel injury is still painful, but he will take his regular turn.
Seemingly, the varsity is better off facing the Larries than it would be going up against any of the other remaining sextets. St. Lawrence has by far the poorest record of the semifinalists, and its win total is padded by victories over weak non-ECAC rivals. The team's only real star is goalie Rich Broadbelt, who registered 31 saves against the varsity in December.
In the first game tonight, it will be Clarkson's solidity against the flashy brilliance of Colby. It seems unlikely that 100-point man Rou Ryan can score enough to match the output of the well-balanced Clarkson six, and the Mule defense is erratic.
Tonight's winners will meet at 9 p.m. tomorrow on the Arena ice; the losers will play off for third place at 7 p.m. Thus no matter what happens, the season will not end abruptly for anyone this evening, but the incredible pressure of tournament play will make itself felt nonetheless.
The game will be broadcast on WHRB, 94 3 FM, 550 AM.