It was only Farquhar Bheg's steady coolness that saved the goal. It was a near enough thing, however, to strike a sudden chill to the heart of the Front goal-keeper, and to make Dan realize that something must be done to check these dangerous rushes of Craven.
"Get in behind the defense there, and stay there," he said to two of his centers, and his tone indicated that his serene confidence in himself and his team was slightly shaken. Hughie's close checking was beginning to chafe him, for his team in their practice had learned to depend unduly upon him.
Noticing Dan's change in the disposition of his men, Hughie moved up two of his centers nearer to the Front defense.
"Get into their way," he said "and give the master a clear field."
But this policy only assisted Dan's plan of defense, for the presence of so many players before the Front goal filled up the ice to such an extent that Craven's rushes were impeded by mere numbers.
For some time Dan watched the result of his tactics well satisfied, remaining himself for the time in the background. During one of the pauses, when the ball was out of play, he called one of the little Reds to him.
"Look here," he said, "you watch this. Right after one of those rushes of Craven's, don't follow him down, but keep up to your position. I'll get the ball to you somehow, and then you'll have a chance to shoot. No use passing to me, for this little son of a gun is on my back like a flea on a dog." Dan was seriously annoyed.
The little Red passed the word around and patiently waited his chance. Once and again the plan failed, chiefly because Dan could not get the ball out of the scrimmage, but at length, when Hughie had been tempted to rush in with the hope of putting in a shot, the ball slid out of the scrimmage, and Dan, swooping down upon it, passed swiftly to the waiting Red who immediately shot far out to his alert wing, and then rushing down the center and slipping past Johnnie Big Duncan, who had gone forth to meet Dan coming down the right, and the master who was attending to the little Red on the wing, received the ball, and putting in a short, swift shot, scored another goal for the Front, amid a tempest of hurrahings from the team and their supporters.