April 26 in Indianapolis hockey history
1985: The Checkers’ first IHL season comes to a close with a 5-2 loss to Peoria in Game 7 of their opening-round playoff series at Carver Arena in Peoria. Jim Malwitz and John Ollson give the Checkers a 2-0 lead just 2:14 in, but Alan May slams the door the rest of the way and the Rivermen respond with five goals. Rob Holland stops 36 shots in a losing effort.
1990: The Ice open the Western Division Final in Salt Lake, and come away with a 4-3 victory when Mike Eagles scores the game-winner with 8:20 left. Brian Noonan scores twice, and Jari Torkki also tallies a goal and an assist. Jim Waite makes 20 saves.
1996: The Ice return home with a chance to sweep Detroit, but Peter Ciavaglia scores a hat trick for the Vipers, who beat the Ice 6-5. Ethan Moreau and Mike Prokopec score twice each for the Ice. Kip Miller adds three assists.
1998: The Ice stay alive, with Todd White scoring at 9:20 of overtime to give the Ice a 4-3 win over Orlando in MSA and send the best-of-5 series back to Florida tied two games apiece. Eric Manlow, Petri Varis and David Ling give the Ice a 3-1 lead in the third, but Orlando ties it with 11 seconds left. Varis and Kent Paynter assist on White’s game-winner. Marc Lamothe stops 48 shots in the Ice net.
2014: The Ice take a 2-0 lead over Dubuque in the Eastern Conference Final, winning 3-2 at Pan Am Pavilion. Sam Kurker and Denis Smirnov score first-period goals to give the Ice the lead, and Kurker – who was a late lineup addition – makes it 3-1 1:25 into the third, providing a key insurance goal that would become the game-winner. Scott Conway has two assists for the Ice. Jason Pawloski makes 26 saves for his fourth straight win, and his fourth straight allowing two goals or less.
Happy birthday to …
John Ross: “Sandy” was a defenseman for the Capitals for parts of three seasons — 1939-40, 1941-42, and 1942-43. He was one of the original Caps, and had 13 goals and 27 assists in 108 games for the Caps. He had three goals and four assists in 22 playoff games, including four points in the 1942 Calder Cup run. In 1940, he was part of a division championship team. He returned from WWII and played a season with the St. Louis Flyers in 1945-46. He settled in Omaha — where he also played minor pro hockey — upon retirement. A native of Ryley, Alberta, he was born in 1917. He passed away in 1997.
Cecil Dillion: Member of the Capitals for part of the 1940-41 season — he would be dealt to Providence partway through the year, in which he tallied 29 points. Dillon was a multi-year NHL veteran when he joined the Caps, having played 10 seasons for the Rangers and Red Wings. He had 167 goals and 131 assists in 453 games. He won the Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1933. A native of Toledo, he was the first Ohio-born NHL player, having been born in 1908. He passed away in 1969.
Ralph “Red” Almas: Goaltender for the Capitals from 1946-48. He played 129 games for the Caps — and also one game for the Red Wings in the first of those two years in Indy. Almas played professionally through 1955, and played three NHL games as an emergency goaltender — two with Detroit and one with Chicago — in that stretch. A native of Saskatoon, Sask., he was born in 1924. He passed away in 2001.
George Blake: Left wing who played part of the 1945-46 and 1946-47 seasons with the Capitals. He had 13 goals in those two seasons, which were split between St. Louis, Indianapolis and Philadelphia, all of the AHL. A native of Coniston, Ont., he was born in 1923.
Ed Calhoun: Defenseman for the Chiefs from 1955-58, he was a mainstay on the Turner Cup finalist in 1957. He played 121 games for the Chiefs, scoring six goals, assisting on 32, and spending 246 minutes in the penalty box. He moved from the Chiefs to EHL Clinton to become a player-coach during the 1957-58 season, and played there until retiring in 1961 after a 10-year career in the EHL & IHL. A native of Toronto, he was born in 1931.
Pat Ribble: A player drafted by the Racers in 1974 with their fifth-round pick, Pat made it to Indianapolis 10 years later as a member of the Checkers. He played 76 games between 1984-86, with 16 goals and 35 assists. He also had three points in nine playoff games those years. They came close to the end of a 13-year pro career that saw him score 19 goals and assist on 60 in 349 NHL games with the Atlanta Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames. He retired after spending the 1986-87 season in Salt Lake. A native of Leamington, Ont., he is 62.
Shane Doyle: Defenseman who had four goals, 36 assists and 224 PIMs in 62 games with the 1988-89 Ice. It was the first full pro season in a career that would last until 2000, primarily at the “AA” level. Doyle was the Canucks’ third-round pick in 1985. A native of Lindsay, Ont., he is 49.
Joshua Shellman: Defenseman who played 10 games for the Ice in 2012-13, scoring one goal. In 2014-15, he had nine assists in 38 games split between the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder and NAHL’s Michigan Warriors. He recently completed his freshman year at Div. III Adrian College, where he had one goal. A native of Romulus, Mich., he is 22.