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The Harvard hockey team begins a four-game home stand tonight against thin, but potentially dangerous RPI. The Engineers' 3-7-1 record is unimpressive, but it includes a 6-6 tie against a strong University of Michigan team that should but the Crimson on its guard.
Seats are unreserved, and coupon No. 8 will be accepted for admission at Watson Rink. For the Princeton game Saturday, coupons must be exchanged for tickets at 60 Boylston St. before 5 p.m. Friday.
RPI is one of the few schools that holds a series edge over Harvard Coach Cooney Weiland, but its hockey program was decimated when Coach Ned Harkness packed up lock, stock, and players, and moved to Cornell in 1962. The Rensellaers started to recover with a good bunch of Canadian freshman last winter, and 9 of the varsity's current 14 players are from that crop.
These include 6' 2" center Dale Watson and wing Dick Scammell, who both boast 32-point scoring totals after 11 games. Top defenseman Gary Mitchell and goalie Tom Nichol are also sophomores.
Inexperience is not so much a problem as lack of manpower. With 14 players, 3 below the number a team is allowed to dress, the Engineers sometimes can't skate three full lines and in recent games Dick Greenlaw, the reserve goalie, has also played at forward.
The skaters from Troy, N.Y., have edged Army and weakling Penn and New Brunswick. Their losses were to Clarkson 3-8, Cornell 2-7, Colgate 1-6, Yale 9-11, B.U. 1-7, Providence 6-7, and two nights ago to Denver, 3-8.
Harvard goes into the game with a 5-4 record, but only one of the nine games was played in Watson Rink. Senior goalie Bill Fitzsimmons will get his first start against collegiate opposition since the season opener at Bowdoin.
Ben Smith remains on the second line in place of Bob Fredo. Fredo, hard-luck player of the Christmas Tournament, received five stitches above his left eye when a B.U. shot caught him in the first game, then was knocked out for good with a shoulder separation in the Cornell game.
Dennis McCullough, Kent Parrot, and Pete Waldinger, the high-scoring first line of last year, will be reunited, though Tag Demment and Pete Mueller will probably alternate at the wings beside Parrot.
Tom Micheletti, the freshmen's top defenseman last year, will make his varsity debut in place of injured Charlie Scammon. Micheletti was slowed by tonsilitis as the season began.
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