March 17 in Indianapolis hockey history
1940: Capitals finish their first regular season as IAHL West Division champs, despite an 8-6 overtime loss to Hershey on the final day of the regular season. The Caps go 26-20-10. The Capitals win the Ted Oke Trophy as the division champs.
1942: The Capitals begin their run to the Calder Cup with a 4-2 loss to the Springfield Indians at the Coliseum. Jack Keating scores twice and Roy Sawyer has two assists, but Springfield’s Bill Summerhill nets a hat trick.
1943: The Capitals open their defense of the Calder Cup with a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Hornets at the Coliseum. Adam Brown puts the Caps up 5-1 in the third, but Pittsburgh scores twice in the final 70 seconds to make it close. Joe Fisher has a goal and an assist, as does Judd McAtee. Connie Brown, Bill Jennings and Hal Jackson each have two assists in the win.
1946: Les Douglas has two goals and four assists as the Capitals beat Pittsburgh 10-4 to close the 1945-46 season with the AHL’s West Division championship, the third such title in seven years. The Caps finish the year 33-20-9. Cliff Simpson has a hat trick in the win, as well. Douglas finishes the year with 44 goals and 90 points. Another overflow crowd of 9,500 witnesses the victory. Douglas’ six-point game gives him the AHL’s scoring title by one point over Hershey’s Norm Larson.
1957: Bob Bowness’ power play goal midway through the third period gives the Chiefs a two-goal lead and stands up as the game-winner as the Chiefs beat Toledo 4-3 at the Coliseum to take a 2-1 lead in their semifinal series. Pierre Brilant scores twice in the opening two periods, and player-coach Leo Lamoureux tallies a goal with 37 seconds left in the first to make it a 2-0 game. Cliff Hicks makes 29 saves.
1961: The Chiefs finish out a difficult 1960-61 season with a 20-46-4 record and a 5-1 win over Fort Wayne. Gus Braumberger has two goals and Billy Short a goal and an assist in the loss.
1977: Frank Rochon has two goals and an assist, and Rosaire Paiment has a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win in Birmingham.
1985: The Checkers beat Salt Lake 10-5 at the Coliseum, with two players posting five-point games. John Ollson had two goals and three assists, including the game-winner in a six-goal third period. Kevin Devine assists on five goals and Garth MacGuigan on four.
1995: Mike Prokopec has a hat trick, and Craig Fisher assists on all three, as the Ice fall 6-3 in Fort Wayne. Daniel Gauthier also has two assists in the loss.
1999: With two assists, Dave Hymovitz extends his point streak to 9 straight games, but the Ice fall 6-5 to Michigan. Chris Herperger scores twice.
2002: After travel problems, the Ice arrive barely in time for warmups, and end up beating Oklahoma City 3-2 at the Coliseum to close out the 2001-02 season with a 20-37-7 record. The victory also snaps a club-record seven-game winless streak.
Happy birthday to …
Gordon Buttrey: Chiefs right wing in 1955-56. He had 16 goals and 17 assists for the team that season. Buttrey broke into pro hockey in 1943-44 in the AHL, and played 10 games for the Blackhawks in 1943-44. He played in the IHL and EHL from 1949-56, and was a consistent 25-goal scorer. A native of Regina, Sask., he was born in 1926, and passed away in 2012 at age 85.
Tony Leswick: Coach of the short-lived Capitols team in 1963. He coached the team to a 12-53-7 record in 72 games, including one win in their nine games in Indianapolis (1-7-1). Leswick had a long, 740-game NHL career with the Rangers, Red Wings and Blackhawks from 1945-58, where he had 159 goals and 324 assists. His most famous goal was the game 7 OT winner in 1954, leading the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup. He won three Stanley Cups with the Wings, in 1952, 1954 and 1955. His brother, Pete, also played for the AHL version of the Capitals. A native of Humboldt, Sask., he was born in 1923. He passed away in 2001 at age 78.
Steve Lyons: Forward for the Checkers in 1985-86. He had six goals and six assists in 15 games. The former New Hampshire Wildcat also played for Mohawk Valley in the ACHL in 1983-84, and had 84 points in 72 games. They were the lone pro games for the 1980 Boston Bruins sixth-round pick. He is a scout for the Anaheim Ducks. A native of Canton, Mass., he is 55.
Matt Eldred: Ice defenseman for one game in 1997-98. The former Bowling Green Falcon played for several teams in a six-year minor pro career from 1997-2003, in the ECHL, AHL, IHL and Britain. A native of Rocky River, Ohio, he is 43.
Evan Mosey: Fuel player in 2016-17. He came to Indy as a fourth-year pro after a college career at Minnesota State-Mankato and three years in Europe, including the last two in England. He has split the 2016-17 season between Rockford and Indy, with three goals and an assist in Indy in nine games. A native of Downers Grove, Ill., he is 28.