After a season away from hockey because of slipping grades, Jeff Connors is in trouble again and anxious to keep his place on the team. A tutor helps Jeff shore up his worst grade, in English; under her guidance he begins to see what he's been doing wrong, and comes up with a decent composition that he hopes will redeem him in the eyes of the team and his coach. He and his best friend, Kevin, resolve to work hard to help the team win the title, and everything looks rosy. Then Kevin finds a nasty note in his locker that looks as if it were written by Jeff, and Jeff gets his English paper back with a failing grade--but it's not the paper he handed in. It's a puzzle, all right, one that befuddles Jeff even though readers who aren't as slow on the uptake as he is will have most of the details figured out. These one-dimensional jocks employ some fairly leaden dialogue on the way to the inevitable happy ending, but not even all those exclamation points can give the book a semblance of excitement.