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A potentially championship Harvard hockey team this week prepares for its third International Intercollegiate League game with a weak Princeton team; and on the basis of its play to date, victory over the Tiger seems certain, and an undefeated season is within the realm of possibility.
Great against Toronto, the team suffered a let-down when it tackled the Big Green on Saturday night; watching them gave one the definite impression that they were overconfident. They tried hard, but they just couldn't seem to click. Added to this, the sterling defensive play of Don Otis and football captain Bennett helped the Dartmouth team keep the score down and give Harvard's rooters an unpleasant scare.
This victory over Dartmouth sews up the championship of the Quadrangular League, for who could imagine the weakest Eli team in years even approaching this year's Crimson. Joe Stubbs' team should have little difficulty with the Tigers, and unless they have another case of over-confidence, the margin of victory ought to be at least six goals.
During the Christmas vacation this Princeton team, undefeated in their preliminaries, journeyed to Canada and watched the Canadians skate circles around them, Toronto by 10-0, Queens 6-1. And when the Canadians came down here, Princeton lost two more, McGill scoring three times in the opening three minutes of play to start a 12-1 rout. Montreal alone was held in check, the Tigers being edged by only one goal.
The big question mark in the future for Joe Stubbs and George Ford is McGill. Montreal and Queens may be tough, but McGill will be tougher, and undoubtedly some undergraduates will follow the team to Montreal on Washington's Birthday for what should rank with the 5-4 Toronto victory as the top game of the Harvard season.
When Harvard faces McGill they will probably play better hockey than at any other time throughout the season; but whether this will be enough to stop a team which has routed Yale and Princeton remains to be seen.
McGill still has the best players from its crack team of last season, and a few left from the truly famous 1934 six. Mike Moiklejohn is still there, one of the outstanding defensemen in amateur hockey in Canada, and Gordie Crutchfield and Paul Pidcock are sinking many, many goals in the nets of their luckless American opponents.
It will be almost miraculous if the Crimson can get by their three remaining opponents from across the border without a defeat; but if they display their Toronto game form, they must be conceded a fighting chance. Nor will the Crimson six have necessarily to be unbeaten to win the International League. Conceding victory to McGill still leaves a good deal of hope, for the latter will have just as much difficulty as Harvard in getting through the season undefeated; that they can take two straight from Toronto seems unlikely.
While the Varsity soar to new heights, Clark Hodder's Freshman team hasn't looked any too good in its opening games. Still undefeated the Yardlings have yet to face any serious opposition, and certainly they can't hold a candle to Austie Harding's outfit of last year or Roberts' team of two years back.
They have defeated Rindge Tech 8-1; but Rindge had had almost no practice, and the 7-1 victory over a good Belmont Hill team wasn't half as impressive as it sounds. Handicapped by a weak goalie, the schoolboy six was otherwise about on a par with Hodder's men following the opening period. Although they are scheduled to meet Andover and Exeter this week, no real test will be forthcoming, for Belmont Hill is probably as good as any prep school team this year, and not until late in February when they oppose St. Paul's and Dartmouth will the Crimson be able to be judged accurately.
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