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With the exception of Duncan and Sortwell, who have played in the centre positions every day, no man has held a place regularly on the University hockey team during the past week of practice. Consequently there is still considerable doubt as to the team's final make-up. The chief difficulty has been to find a suitable pair of ends. It now seems probable that Captain Huntington will fill one of these positions when he comes out, and that either Palmer or Pierce will play the other. Although both of the latter have been used to playing centre, the work of Palmer has improved consistently since he has been shifted to wing, and Pierce did well when tried out there for the first time on Friday. During the week Blackall has been given a thorough try-out in the forward line, but he is not fitted for the position, and will undoubtedly return to the defence.
With Willetts and Blackall playing point and coverpoint, respectively, the defence could stand losing Huntington to the forward line. These two men will probably be given the positions over Houston, Wingate, and Graustein. Of the three goals, S. B. Smart, Carnochan, and Gardner, the last seems to be the choice.
First Game Thursday.
On Thursday the team plays its first regular game of the season with Technology. Although a scrub team composed mainly of University players was only able to tie Technology in a practice game a week ago Saturday, the regular team should win easily on Thursday. In the past week nearly every forward on the squad has improved noticeably in team-work, and unless the men have a slump in shooting such as displayed in the last two or three practices, they should be able to score several times. Moreover, the regular defensive men will be much more effective than the scrub defence which went in against Technology a week ago.
The squad will be dismissed on Friday and will report again on January 1. Certain men, however, will go to New York for practice games there on December 28 and 29. The training table will begin immediately after the recess.
Lack of Ice Has Impeded Other Colleges.
All the other important university hockey teams have been seriously handicapped so far this season by lack of ice. Princeton and Yale have practiced in the St. Nicholas Rink, New York, two or three times, but otherwise have had to confine themselves to gymnasium floor work and running. Cornell had its first ice practice Friday in the Arena at Syracuse. As soon as the weather gets colder, however, each of these teams will have a rink of some sort. Yale will use its new covered rink on which the second of the series of three games with the University team will be played. Cornell will have a number of rinks on Beebe Lake near Ithaca, and Princeton will construct and flood two rinks in Princeton. Cornell will play all of its home games at the Arena in Syracuse.
Yale and Princeton will open their seasons at the St. Nicholas Rink in New York this week, the former playing St. Paul's School on Wednesday evening and the latter playing Williams on Thursday. Princeton will undoubtedly win from Williams as they are generally conceded to have the best material of any team in the East, but the other game should be a close one. St. Paul's has been handicapped as well as Yale by lack of ice practice
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