With the Beanpot-Tournament behind it. Harvard's varsity hockey team travels to Princeton today for the first of four games that will determine the Crimson's finish in both the Ivy League and the ECAC standings.
Princeton has won only one game in 20 starts this year and was bombed by the Crimson, 8-0, in their first meeting. Since that game, the weak Tiger team has been further weakened by the loss of three starters.
Princeton has shown the potential, however, to upset any team, pushing Connell into overtime in a 3-2 loss and skating with Brown throughout a close 6-5 defeat. They're used to playing a defensive game and it's always tough to build a lead against them in their home rink," Crimson captain Joe Cavanagh said.
Harvard must be up for tonight's game because a loss to the Tigers would eliminate the Crimson from any shot at a tie for the Ivy title and would probably end any hopes for home ice advantage in the opening round of the ECAC playoffs.
"When you can see the end of the season, you don't underrate any team." Cavanagh said. "We'll play every game knowing that our final record is on the line."
The biggest task facing the Crimson tonight is the rebuilding of its power play. Against P. U. Monday, Harvard failed to score during a seven-minute man advantage.
"We got the puck into their zone well," Cavanagh said, "but we didn't move it well enough once it was there. We were shooting too quickly and not setting our shots up."
"It's funny how you'll get into a habit. We rushed our shots in the first period and then kept up the habit throughout the game. We have to hope for a lot of penalties tonight and develop a different habit," he said.
Princeton is not unaccustomed to penalties. In Saturday night's 8-5 loss to Yale, the Tigers and Bulldogs cleared their benches in a huge fight with one second left in the game. The brawl left four teeth on the ice and Princeton forward Bob Beezan on the bench tonight with a game-misconduct penalty.
Harvard may be without the services of defenseman Doug Elliott, who received a misconduct penalty Monday night for leaving the penalty box and arguing with the referee.
Since there were less than ten minutes left in the game, no one yesterday was sure whether Elliott received a ten minute or a game-misconduct. Harvard will seek a ruling from the ECAC today.