April 23 in Indianapolis hockey history
1962: Mel Ross, the Indianapolis Chiefs’ general manager, announces the International Hockey League team will fold, citing six-figure losses. The Chiefs played seven seasons in the IHL, making the Turner Cup Final twice and winning the title in 1958.
1976: The Racers fall behind 3-1 in their first-round series with Ne England, dropping a 2-1 decision in Hartford when Mike Rogers beats Michel Dion with 57 seconds left in the game. Hugh Harris earlier had tied the game in the third for the Racers.
1977: The Racers move into the WHA’s semifinal round, but fall 3-1 to the Quebec Nordiques at Le Colisee. Michel Parizeau scores in the second period for the Racers, but Serge Bernier’s two second-period goals do Indy in. Paul Hoganson makes 34 saves in the loss. The Nordiques’ coach is former Indianapolis Chief Marc Boileau.
1980: The Checkers’ first season ends with a 3-1 loss to the Fort Worth Wings in both the game and the best-of-5 CHL semifinal series. Kelly Davis’ first-period goal gives the Checkers a lead, but Fort Worth scores the game-winner with 1:59 left against Richard Brodeur.
1984: A 6-3 loss to the barnstorming Oilers puts the Checkers in a 3-0 hole in the Adams Cup Final. Red Laurence, Dave Simpson and Neal Coulter score for the Checkers, but Robbie Ftorek scores twice and Bob Scurfield nets a hat trick for the Oilers. It’s the final CHL game to be played at the Coliseum.
1999: Nathan Perrott scores 2:41 into overtime to keep the Ice alive and send the best-of-3 series back to Cincinnati tied at a game apiece. Perrott’s goal gives the Ice a 4-3 victory. David Hymovitz, Perrott and Cail MacLean give the Ice a 3-0 lead in the opening period, but Cincinnati rallies with three goals in the first 7:27 of the second. Marc Lamothe replaces starter Geoff Sarjeant and slams the door, stopping all 18 shots he faces and starting a long shutout streak.
2007: The Ice sweep the Green Bay Gamblers in four games, winning 5-3 in the Resch Center. Mike Embach ties the game at 6:40 of the third, and John Kemp scores the series-winner 121 seconds later. Kemp adds an empty-netter for a two-goal game. Embach also has an assist for two-point night. Garrett Roe assists on two goals.
2009: The Ice open the USHL Eastern Conference Final with a 5-1 win in Green Bay. Zach Golombiewski and Brandon Richardson score first-period goals. Sebastien Geoffrion, Mike Cichy and Will MacDonald add third-period goals in the victory, while Brett Bennett makes 23 saves. Richardson and Cichy (G, A) have two-point games.
2010: The Ice drop a 4-2 decision to Green Bay to fall behind two games to one in their conference final series. Max Cook and Antti Roppo score in the third to tie the game at 2-2, but GB’s Travis Lynch scores a shorthanded goal with 1:22 left to win it.
2011: Green Bay sweeps the Ice in the Eastern Conference semifinal, as Austin Czarnik scores at 10:16 of overtime to give the Gamblers a 2-1 win. David Johnstone opens the scoring at :36 of the second period, but the Gamblers’ Ludwig Karlsson answers with a power play goal at 14:48 of the second.
Happy birthday to …
Dale Smedsmo: Left wing who played six games for the Racers in 1977-78, tallying three assists. He played 114 NHL/WHA games between 1972-78 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Cincinnati Stingers, New England Whalers and the Racers, tallying 10 goals and 32 points. Smedsmo is the stepfather of NHL player Dustin Byfuglien. A native of Bemidji, Minn., he is 65.
Jim Stewart: Goalie who played three games for the Checkers in 1980-81. He was 1-1-0 with a 4.71 GAA with the Checkers. He played professionally for four seasons, for 12 teams. His longest stint was with the EHL’s Utica Mohawks in 1979-80, where he played 30 games. He did play one period for the Boston Bruins in 1979-80, allowing five goals. Stewart went on to coach in college, where he developed NHL goaltenders Daren Puppa and Jonathan Quick at RPI, Holy Cross and UMass, winning a national title with RPI in 1985. A native of Hudson, Mass., he is 59.
Greg Smyth: Defenseman who played two games with the Ice in 1994-95. Smyth was drafted in the second round by the Flyers in 1984, and played 13 pro seasons — mostly split between the NHL and AHL/IHL levels. He had 20 points and 783 PIMs in 228 NHL games with Philadelphia, Quebec, Calgary, Florida, Toronto and Chicago. A native of Oakville, Ont., he is 50.
Patrick Poulin: Left wing who played one game for the Ice in 1995-96. He was the ninth overall pick (Hartford) in the 1991 NHL Draft, and was a 20-goal scorer for the Whalers as a rookie in 1992-93. He played 634 NHL games, with 101 goals, 134 assists and 299 PIMs. His one game with the Ice was his lone minor pro game until a 31-game stint with AHL Quebec in 2001-02, his final pro season. A native of Vanier, Quebec, he is 43.
Ken McRae: Indianapolis Ice coach from 2002-04, their final two CHL seasons. The Ice were 76-39-13 under his tutelage. He was the CHL’s Coach of the Year in 2003. He went on to coach several seasons in Corpus Christi in the CHL, and then Peterborough in the OHL. McRae was a veteran of 137 NHL games before coaching, all with the Nordiques and Maple Leafs. He was drafted 18th overall by Quebec in 1986. A native of Winchester, Ont., he is 48.