December 18 in Indianapolis hockey history
1941: Connie Brown tallies a hat trick as the Capitals beat New Haven 8-3 to take first place in the AHL West division.
1943: Alex Ritson scores four goals in 5-2 Caps win at Pittsburgh. All were in the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie. Three were unassisted, setting an AHL record.
1977: A second game against an Eastern European club is unsuccessful for the Racers, as they fall 4-3 to the Soviet All Stars. Bill Goldsworthy has a goal and an assist for the Racers.
1982: Rob Holland posts his second straight shutout, stopping 33 shots to beat Wichita 1-0. Scott Howson scores at 7:07 of the third
1991: Dominik Hasek stops 34 shots to post a 6-0 shutout in Milwaukee. Jeff Rohlicek scores twice and adds an assist. Paul Gillis has a goal and an assist in the win. Paul Gillis and Rob Conn score goals 44 seconds apart late in the first period.
1993: Steve Dubinsky helps the Ice snap a four-game skid in Kansas City, scoring with three seconds left to beat Kansas City 5-4. Rob Cimetta scored with 1:48 left to cut the deficit to one, and also with 9:50 left to make it a 4-2 game. Dubinsky also added two assists. Sergei Krivokrasov had a goal and two assists for the Ice.
1999: Benoit Thibert’s third shutout is a 6-0 win over San Antonio on the road, as he stops 42 shots. Chris MacKenzie tallies a five-point night with two goals and three assists. Yvan Corbin has a hat trick.
Happy birthday to …
Cliff Hicks: Chiefs goaltender from 1956-60. His 185 games played are the third-most among goaltenders in Indianapolis hockey history, behind Jim Waite and Rob Holland. Hicks won 82 games and had six shutouts, also ranking third on the list behind Waite and Holland. He backstopped all three of the Chiefs’ playoff runs, including the 1958 Turner Cup championship and the 1957 run to the Turner Cup Final. He had played for several minor league and Canadian senior teams before coming to the Chiefs, and he finished his career in 1960 with the Omaha Knights and EHL Greensboro Generals. A native of Ottawa, he was born in 1930.
Bruce Andres: Left wing for the Checkers in 1979-80, and again in 1981-82. He played 43 games for the team, with seven goals and 11 assists. The Islanders’ third-round pick in 1977, Andres played six minor-league seasons from 1977-83, primarily in the IHL. He had a 29-goal season for Muskegon in 1977-78. A native of Roblin, Manitoba, he is 59.
Daniel Cleary: The last member of the IHL’s Indianapolis Ice to remain active in the NHL, Cleary played four games for the Ice in 1997-98. He had two goals and an assist before being returned to the OHL Belleville Bulls for his final junior season. Cleary also played six NHL games for the Blackhawks that year, months after being drafted 13th overall in the NHL Draft. A strong two-way forward, Cleary was dealt to Edmonton during the 1998-99 season, and became a consistent player for the Oilers through 2003, for the Phoenix Coyotes in 2003-04, and for the Red Wings since the lockout. He has had three 20-goal seasons in the NHL — with Detroit in 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2010-11. He became the first Newfoundland native to win the Stanley Cup in 2008 with the Wings. Cleary remains an active player, having played 938 NHL games, with 165 goals and 387 points. Since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, he has played in the AHL with Grand Rapids. A native of Carbonear, Newfoundland, he is 38.
Nels Podolsky: Capitals winger from 1946-51. “Nellie” played 264 games for the Caps, tallying 80 goals and 95 assists, as well as 325 penalty minutes. He had 25-goal campaigns in both 1946-47 and 1947-48. Podolsky played one regular season and seven playoff NHL games for the Red Wings in 1948-49. He had five points in the Caps’ Calder Cup title run in 1950, and overall had two goals and four assists in 11 playoff games as a member of the Caps. Podolsky played professionally from 1945-57, playing also for Edmonton in the PCHL, St. Louis in the AHL and was player/coach of the IHL’s Troy Bruins his last two years. A native of Winnipeg, he was born in 1923. He passed away in 2007.