The Spike or Victoria College Review, June 1906
[review of the activities of the men's hockey club]
"Again we rush across the slush,
A pack of breathless faces,
And charge and fall, and see the ball
Go whizzing through the bases."
Despite certain lugubrious forebodings and pessimistic prognostications, issuing from a variety of sources, the Hockey Club has every reason to look forward to an exceptionally interesting and sucessful career this season. When we first counted our forces, when we considered the many promising accessions our hopes were very high, we confess; we dreamed radiant dreams of success, and after a few practices the conviction was steadily borne in upon us that the realisation of our hopes was at last within measurable distance. This was at the beginning of the season. The first round is now over, and doubtless to the casual observer the result would hardly justify our roseate expectations—to be absolutely candid, we have not won a match. But, no matter, we put up some really good fights, and we still "look anxiously," in the words of a staunch hockeyite, "for the glitter of a silver shield coyly advancing towards us out of the uncertain obscurity of the rear end of the season." Let us hope that we shall not look in vain. Those College walls of ours are mournfully bare as yet.
The Spike, as a general rule, deprecates excuses, but this time we have a clear case against the Fates. We have been unfortunate in more ways than one. In the first place (we quote again): "The gods, with a somewhat embarrassing fondness, have seen fit, to chasten us by removing several of our players, notably amongst the seniors, as is of course only natural, thus causing a "move-up" all along the line of junior material, and consequently a more or less serious dislocation of play in the early stages of the season." Secondly, Pope, a newcomer, who promised great things, has been placed hors de combat by a crack on the knee. It is uncertain when he will be able to resume his place on the field, but we hope it won't be long. Moreover, another prominent member of the seniors is away on business. Small wonder indeed that we have not done so well as we first expected.page 29
Let us now examine the team more closely. To begin with, we have the fastest set of forwards in the Senior Competition— made up of Oram, Sargent (a new man), Beere, Smith (a dashing importation from III A), and the aforesaid Pope. Such a forward line should be almost irresistible with a little combined practice, and adequate support from the halves. The latter are three reliable and experienced hands—Smith, Skelley, and Watson (who has been playing splendidly). But who is this we see, hovering watchfully on the outskirts ? It's "Eichie," disguised in a form of headgear vaguely reminiscent of those roving German bands that periodically invade this peaceful land to harass and disturb. "Eichie" is said to have played some really good games, but he is a trifle—just a trifle—slow. Then there is Furby—a good man; and behind these two we have Ryburn, a back in a class by himself (vide "Evening Post" for corroboration). There is no reason why we should not, with this team, win most of our future matches this season. It behoves us to gird up our loins and go for all we are worth.
The Juniors are a bit raw yet. Again we quote: "So far as we have been able to observe, an insuperable repugnance to fielding with their hands militates seriously against their prospects of success." Take note Juniors! Still there is fine material in the team, and it ought to come out with a decent record at the end of the season.
"The III A's are displaying their wonted undying determination to get there." Speculation, however, is rife, and the foregoing remark about fielding also applies. Be it remembered, however, that III A has scored the first win of the season. "Freddy," the LL.B., we understand, led his men to victory like the hero and sage he is.
"The III B's have hardly yet evolved a homogeneous entity," so our valued contributor, who goes on to hope that the B's will not be discouraged or dismayed by such a pronouncement, and "extends his best wishes in a necessarily uphill fight." The phrase in question simply means, "III B's never have a full team, and they are doing splendidly under the circumstances," nothing more. They will not win many matches—but what of that?
We rejoice to welcome so many new players to our ample bosom; but still we hunger for more. We regret to record the departure from the field of so many of "the old familiar faces" —Matheson, Prouse Bros., Gower, and Paterson (to mention only the celebrities). Perhaps we shall see some of them out again next season.page 30
Following are the results of championship matches so far:—