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Harvard's hockey team, loser in its last two games, faces a dangerous University of New Hampshire team in the first round of the ECAC hockey tournament at 8 p.m. tonight at Watson Rink.
The Crimson is seeded second behind Ivy League champion Cornell in the eight-team tournament, and would seem to have an excellent chance for a berth in the NCAA tournament in Colorado.
But Harvard, which had won nine straight games up to its loss to Cornell last Thursday, ran into unexpected trouble Saturday night against Yale, and was upset by the Elis, 3-2, in overtime.
Yale's victory was a shocker since Harvard had trounced the Elis, 7-2, a week before. While there was nothing at stake in the game, it was the Crimson's only loss of the season to a markedly inferior team.
U.N.H. has even better credentials for a win over Harvard than Yale. The Wildcats have defeated B.U. and tied Clarkson--two teams seeded above them in the tournament--and have excelled against their toughest opponents.
In their first meeting two weeks ago at Watson Rink, the two teams played to a 1-1 standoff through two periods before Harvard finally pulled away with six goals in the final period to win handily, 7-1.
Even in the third period, Harvard dominated the play only because the Wildcats drew six penalties which kept them on the defensive for most of the period.
In addition, U.N.H. was playing its third game in four days--including a 3-2 loss to B.C. Friday night.
One Serious Handicap
While U.N.H. will not have these disadvantages tonight, the Crimson may have one serious handicap. First-line center George McManama, whose line accounted for four goals against U.N.H. in the first game, may not be able to play tonight.
McManama played with a sore shoulder against Yale, but the doctors have not diagnosed his injury yet, and he might not suit up. If McManama does not play, George Murphy will probably fill in for him at center between wings Ron Mark and Bob Bauer.
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