As the loser, Hughie again held the drop. He faced Dan with determination to get that ball out to Fusie, and somehow he felt in his bones that he should succeed in doing this. Without any preliminary he dropped, and knocked the ball toward Fusie.
But this was evidently what Dan expected, for as soon as Hughie made the motion to drop he charged hard upon the waiting Fusie. Hughie, however, had his plan as well, for immediately upon the ball leaving his stick, he threw himself in Dan's way, checking him effectually, and allowing Fusie, with Don and Scotchie following, to get away.
The Front defense, however, was too strong, and the ball came shooting back toward the line of Reds, one of whom, making a short run, passed far out to Dan on the right. But before the latter could get up speed, Hughie was upon him, and ignoring the ball, blocked and bothered and checked him, till one of the Twentieth centers, rushing in, secured it for his side.
"Ha! well done, captain!" came Craven's voice across the ice, and Hughie felt his nerve come back. If he could hold Dan, that deadly Front combination might be broken.
Meantime Don had secured the ball from Craven, and was rushing up his right wing.
"Here you are, Hughie," he cried, shooting across the Front goal.
Hughie sprang to receive, but before he could shoot Dan was upon him, checking so hard that Hughie was sent sprawling to the ice, while Dan shot away with the ball.
But before he had gone very far Hughie was after him like a whirlwind, making straight for his own goal, so that by the time Dan had arrived at shooting distance, Hughie was again upon him, and while in the very act of steadying himself for his try at the goal, came crashing into him with such fierceness of attack that Dan was flung aside, while Johnnie Big Duncan, capturing the ball, sent it across to the master.