The final victory over Yale in the New Haven Arena last week, in addition to closing another successful season for the University sextet, was the deciding game of the twenty-third hockey series played against Yale. The University has won 19 of these series and 32 of the 42 games played.
The fact that the Yale victory which necessitated the third game was their first since 1917 adds to the feat of the Crimson team in winning the deciding game at New Haven. The Elis, led by Captain Bulkley and O'Hearn were much more formidable opponents this year than they had been since their victory in 1917. They held the strong St. Nicholas and Dartmouth teams to very close scores at the beginning of the season and made a noticeable improvement towards the end, overwhelming such teams as Amherst and Hamilton, defeating the University 3-0 in the second game at the Boston Arena, and taking the last two games from the Tigers to capture the Princeton series. The Elis have been worthy antagonists.
Opening Victory Unimpressive
In the opening contest of this season, the Crimson won a rather unimpressive victory over Boston University by the score of 2-0. Coach Claflin tried out almost his entire squad, twenty men taking part in the game, with the result that although the defense was good the offense was very ragged.
A week later the University met the Boston Hockey Club and won a 2-0 victory. The defense in this game showed a great improvement and was well-high impregnable, but the attack was very slow to start, both scores coming in the final period.
Toronto Gives Crimson Set-Back
After this favorable start, the Crimson team struck a snag when it met Toronto. The Canadians, last year's amateur hockey champions, proved too strong for the Crimson in a brilliant overtime game. With the score 3-1 in the visitors' favor at the beginning of the third period, the University unloosed an attack which momentarily swept Toronto off its feet and tied the score. The Canadians, however, came back with a whirlwind offense in the first overtime period to score three more goals, and the University could not make up for this advantage in the last session. The final score was 7-5.
Facing Princeton ten days later, the University lost to the Tigers for the first time since 1917. The Princeton team, led by the brilliant Van Gerbig, showed the effect of its daily practice in the new Baker Memorial Rink and outclassed the Crimson in almost every way, winning 3-1. The University sextet seemed to have slumped noticeably, especially in regard to its offense, although the Tigers were the best team, with the exception of Toronto it had yet faced.
On January 20, however, the Crimson showed a great improvement in all departments of play when it defeated Yale 3-2 in a thrilling overtime game. The University offense was clearly superior to the Blue's, the defense was a great deal steadier than it had been in the Princeton game, in fact the Crimson displayed the best hockey of the year up to that time.
The next two games were won rather easily, M. I. T. being overwhelmed 10-0 and Milwaukee defeated 2-1, 0-1 a contest marked by the superiority of the Crimson's team work over the Westerners' individual tactics and speed. The following week a set-back was received at the hands of the B. A. A. sextet which won a very close 2-1 victory, but after that the Crimson chalked up three successive victories. The St. Nicholas Club was beaten 5-1 by excellent team-work and accurate passing; Queens College lost 2-1 in a battle featured by the University's almost impregnable defense; and Cornell was outclassed on February 18 by the score of 6-0 in an easy game.
The last five contests were all unusually hard, and coming within a few days of each other, tried the team to the utmost. First Dartmouth, which had won 12 out of 13 games, including a victory over Yale, invaded the Arena on February 22 and scored a 1-0 victory in one of the closest battles seen there this year. Although the Crimson took 33 shots at the Green's goal, Learnard turned them all away with flawless precision, and in the third overtime period Hall managed to get the puck past Bigelow for the winning tally.
Followed by Two Victories
This defeat, however, was followed by two victories over the Tigers, winning for the University the Princeton series. In the first game the teams fought on even terms for two scoreless periods, but in the final session the Crimson broke through the Orange and Black defense and scored two goals to Princeton's one, tying the series. The deciding game was played four days later in the Boston Arena and resulted in a 1-0 victory for the University. Beals scoring the only goal in the first period. Since the teams were familiar with each other's style of play, the Crimson attacks were usually broken up as soon as they reached Princeton ice, and the real feature of the game was Bigelow's brilliant work at goal. Although Tiger scores from scrimmage were imminent time and again, Bigelow's watchfulness and accuracy always prevented a score.
Loses to Blue by 3-0 Score
On March 3 the University met Yale at the Arena and lost 3-0. The squad showed the effects of the three strenuous preceding games and lacked the aggressiveness which had characterized its earlier contests. The game was slow and uninteresting, two of Yale's goals being made in the last session when the Crimson defense had been shifted to aid in the attack.