Your humble narrator,"" N.Y. Raiders star Rusty Todd, takes up where he left off in The Big Stick (1975)--but with a hard-nosed newcomer, Sven Arneson, in the rink, driving up the TV ratings and turning the game into a brawl. Old-timer gripes and Rusty's own qualms crash against the inconvenient fact that ""Sin Bin Sven"" is best-friend Arnie's kid brother; and, says Arnie, he's always hero-worshipped Rusty. You might be dubious too, given Sven's prickliness, but it develops that he doesn't think he's up to playing on talent alone: ""If all you've got is muscle, it's a war."" Meanwhile the Raiders are gunning for the Stanley Cup (which they cop), goalie ""King Kong"" Kelly fights a mysterious, Legionnaire-Disease-like malady, and Rusty gently nudges intellectual Jan to the engagement-ring brink of. . . a marriage that we bet won't take place. (There's a much more compatible and properly appreciative pom-pom girl in the wings.) Gault is obviously building himself a series, and with plenty of tense, expert play and a team of real (but not he-) men, he looks to have himself a winner. Sin Bin, incidentally, is hockey slang for penalty box--where Sven's muscle often lands him.