November 8 in Indianapolis hockey history
1940: The NHL comes to Indianapolis, as the Capitals play the New York Rangers in an exhibition game. Jimmy Franks makes 24 saves, but Lynn Patrick scores the game-winner for the Rangers in front of 3,000 at the Coliseum. Phil Watson also scores for the Rangers, and Bob Whitelaw beats Dave Kerr for the Caps’ goal in the second period.
1942: The Capitals beat Cleveland 5-2 behind two goals and three assists from Les Douglas and two goals from Joe Fisher.
1945 The Capitals extend their season-opening unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 7-3 win over the New Haven Eagles. Pete Leswick has two goals, while Gerry Brown, Les Douglas and Rollie McLenanhan have two assists each. The Caps are 8-0-2 on the season. The streak would be snapped in the next game, a 7-3 loss to Pittsburgh three nights later.
1947: Fern Gauthier has a hat trick as the Caps beat Cleveland 6-3. Cliff Simpson adds a goal and two assists.
1950: “Sugar Jim” Henry joins the Capitals and replaces Bill Brennan in goal. The team is 1-9-1 at the time, but Henry makes 41 saves in a 5-3 win in Cincinnati. Jack Taylor has two goals and Enio Sclisizzi adds the game-winner. Max Quackenbush has a goal and an assist.
1958: Billy Short scores with 2 seconds left to give the Chiefs a thrilling 3-2 victory over Toledo, completing a third-period rally from a 2-0 deficit. Rene St. Hiliare scores with 1:25 remaining to tie the game. Lloyd McKey has two assists.
1983 The Checkers are slated to go to Tulsa, but bad ice in the Oilers’ rink causes the cancellation of two games. Later on in the season, the Oilers would be padlocked out of their arena and finish the season as a road team owned by the CHL, yet would win the final Adams Cup championship.
1991: Craig Woodcroft scores at 4:15 of overtime to give the Ice a 5-4 win over Phoenix. It was his second goal of the game. Also, Dominik Hasek returned to the team, although Roch Belley got the win in net.
2008: Mikael Owilli and Max Cook score seven seconds apart in the first 20 seconds of the third period of a 7-3 Ice win over Tri-City at the Coliseum. Owilli’s goal came 13 seconds into the period. Cook scored unassisted at 20 seconds. Cook’s goal was his second of the game. Stanislav Galiev had a goal and two assists. The win gives the Ice a 12-game point streak (10-0-2).
Happy birthday to …
Jimmy Franks: The Indianapolis Capitals’ original goaltender, Franks backstopped the Caps from 1939-41. He played 29 games in the 1939-40 season before an injury forced him to yield the net to Alfie Moore, and helped backstop a division championship team. He played all 56 games the following year. Franks was 33-35-17 in a Capitals uniform, with three shutouts and a sub-2.60 GAA. In a day when few goaltenders got a shot at the NHL, Franks made his debut replacing Norm Smith in the Red Wings net in the 1937 playoffs. He played one game, and got his name on the Stanley Cup when the Wings went on to win it. Franks played 42 games in the league in two stints — 10 for the Wings in the 1937-38 season, then 23 for the Rangers in 1942-43 and 17 for the Wings (and one for the Bruins) in 1943-44. He had a 12-23-7 record and a 4.30 GAA in the NHL. He retired after the 1944-45 season, his ninth in pro hockey. A native of Melville, Sask., he was born in 1914. He passed away in 1994 at age 79.
Bob Gracie: Center who played 19 games for the Capitals in the 1939-40 season. He had five goals and nine assists to help push the Caps to a division title in their inaugural year, and also tallied a goal in five playoff games. Gracie had been a veteran of nine NHL seasons when he came to the Caps, playing 378 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, New York Americans, Montreal Maroons, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks. He won the Stanley Cup in 1932 with the Leafs and 1935 with the Maroons. He had 82 goals and 191 points in his NHL career. Gracie continued to be a prolific scorer in the AHL throughout the 1940s, with a 40-goal season for Pittsburgh in 1944-45, which led the AHL in scoring. He became a player-coach in the Pacific Coast Hockey League in 1945, and continued to play part-time through 1948 and coach through 1950. A native of North Bay, Ont., he was born in 1910. He passed away in 1963 at age 52.
Mike Peluso: Defenseman who played parts of three seasons with the Ice from 1989-92. Peluso was one of the most feared fighters of his day, and showed it early. He played 75 games for the Ice in 1989-90, racking up 17 points and 279 penalty minutes. He also played all 14 games of the team’s Turner Cup championship run, with one assist. He also finished the following season in Indy and played parts of the 1991-92 season with the Ice. In total, he played 85 games with the Ice, with nine goals, 12 assists and 315 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, he had three assists and 98 penalty minutes in 19 games. Peluso played with the Blackhawks through 1992, where he piled up legendary PIM numbers — 320 in just 53 games in 1990-91, and 408 in 63 games in 1991-92, a year the Hawks went to the Stanley Cup Final. He is the most recent player in NHL history to break the 400 penalty minute mark. He went to the expansion Ottawa Senators in 1992-93, then spent four seasons with the New Jersey Devils, winning the Stanley Cup in 1995. He finished his career with the Blues and Flames, retiring in the 1997-98 season. In 458 NHL games, he had 38 goals, 90 points and 1,951 penalty minutes. A native of Hibbing, Minn., he is 51.