The game now stood three to one in favor of the Front, and up to the end of the first hour no change was made in this score.
And now there was a scene of the wildest enthusiasm and confusion. The Front people flocked upon the ice and carried off their team to their quarter of the shanty, loading them with congratulations and refreshing them with various drinks.
"Better get your men together, captain," suggested Craven, and Hughie gathered them into the Twentieth corner of the shanty.
In spite of the adverse score Hughie found his team full of fight. They crowded about him and the master, eager to listen to any explanation of the present defeat that might be offered for their comfort, or to any plans by which the defeat might be turned into victory. Some minutes they spent in excitedly discussing the various games, and in good-naturedly chaffing Thomas Finch for his failure to prevent a score. But Thomas had nothing to say in reply. He had done his best, and he had a feeling that they all knew it. No man was held in higher esteem by the team than the goal-keeper.
"Any plan, captain?" asked the master, after they had talked for some minutes, and all grew quiet.
"What do you think, sir?" said Hughie.
"O, let us hear from you. You're the captain."
"Well," said Hughie, slowly, and with deliberate emphasis, "I think we are going to win." (Yells from all sides.) "At any rate we ought to win, for I think we have the better team." (More yells.) "What I mean is this, I think we are better in combination play, and I don't think they have a man who can touch the master."