Icemen Face Saint Nicholas Saturday
Harvard hockey coaches have finally wised up to the fact that after exam break, the team is badly out of practice and usually loses the first game following the 18-day scholastic layoff.
So this year, before going into the "biggies" such as the Beanpot Tourney next Monday, the squad will play an exhibition game with the St. Nicholas Hockey Club Saturday night at Watson Rink.
The game should be a good tune-up for the squad, which has not had a full practice since the Northeastern game on January 15. "I'm concerned mostly about their skating legs," Crimson coach Bill Cleary said yesterday. "We'll have only two full practices before Saturday, and we'll be working mostly on skating and passing, generally getting the rust out."
St. Nicholas is a pick-up team in the best sense of the word. The squad consists mostly of ex-Ivy League players who hold regular jobs, but like to keep in shape in their spare time. The mainstay of the team is Peter Bostwick, who is their coach, captain and plays center on the first line.
The 20-man roster includes former Harvard players Tim Paul, last year's several Ivy teams, is 5-3 this year and should give the Crimson a good contest. Their main problem has been getting enough players together for the games; they have been known to show up with only eight players.
"I hope they bring up a real formidable squad," Cleary said. "We want some keen competition." Harvard has beatem St. Nicholas with relative ease over the past few years, and the only way the game will be of any use to Harvard is if St. Nicholas makes a strong showing.
The only questionable starter for the Crimson is defenseman Doug Ellitt, who according to Cleary, is still "noticeably hurting". Elliott was injured during the Great Lakes Tourney and has been out since.
Last year the Crimson was 12-2-1 going into exams, but came out and lost four straight to Penn, Boston University, Dartmouth and Cornell. This year, the warm-up with St. Nicholas should give the team an edge it has not had in the past.