March 18 in Indianapolis hockey history

March 18 in Indianapolis hockey history

1945: On the final day of the season, the Capitals clinch a playoff spot, as Pete Leswick scores four goals in 8-4 victory over Cleveland, finishing the season 25-24-11. The Caps place second in the AHL’s West Division, beating out the Pittsburgh Hornets by two points when the Hornets lose their last game 12-10 to Cleveland. Dick Kowcinak has four assists in the win.

1948: Cliff Simpson becomes the first professional hockey player in history to break the 100-point barrier, doing so with two goals and three assists in a 7-4 Capitals win over the St. Louis Flyers. Tony Licari also has two goals and an assist and Gerry Couture has a goal and two assists in the win.

1949: Capitals coach Ott Heller is voted the AHL’s Coach of the Year.

1951: Joe Carveth scores with 9:31 left to give the Caps a 6-2 lead, but it becomes the game-winner when the Cleveland Barons storm back. The Caps hold on behind 35 saves from Jim Henry. Carveth, Enio Sclisizzi and Max McNab have a goal and an assist each. Fred Glover and Gerry Reid each have two assists in the win, which concludes the Capitals’ season at 38-29-3, good for second in the AHL’s West Division.

1958: The Chiefs fall 5-4 to the Fort Wayne Komets in Game 2 of their playoff series, as Len Thornson scores 3:20 into overtime. The game had a wild finish – Don Busch tied the game for the Chiefs with 2:39 left, Len Thornson gave the Komets the lead with 1:04 to go in regulation, and then Alex Viskelis tied it again with 39 seconds left. Don Busch and Germain Leger each tally a goal and an assist in the loss. The series is evened up at a game apiece.

1962: The Chiefs play their final game in franchise history, losing to the Fort Wayne Komets 11-5, Ed Kikendall makes 30 saves for the Chiefs, and Bobby Rivard and Sid Garant each post two goals and an assist. 2,207 are on hand to witness the finale. The Chiefs finished their final season with a 19-49-0 record. Sid Garant scores the final goal on assists from Garth Hayes and Bobby Rivard with 1:31 left. Rivard scores his 40th. Fort Wayne scores with three seconds left to send the Chiefs off. The game is marked by a major brawl between the Chiefs’ Marcel Goyette and the Komets’ Dave Richardson, which carried over into the penalty box. Goyette decked Richardson, and their brawl tumbled out of the box and into the stands. Police intervened as two Komets climbed into the fracas midway through the third period. Owner Mel Ross claims a $60,000 loss on the season and eventually folds the team.

1976: Dave Keon assists on two early goals, then ties the game midway through the third in a 4-4 tie against San Diego.

1977: Brian McDonald tallies a hat trick for the Racers, but it’s not enough in a 7-5 loss to Winnipeg, as Bobby Hull and Anders Hedberg each beat Michel Dion twice.

1978: The Racers and Cincinnati Stingers combine for 189 penalty minutes – including 137 on the Stingers – in a 4-2 Cincinnati victory at Riverfront Coliseum. A large melee broke out 6:32 into the game, that saw misconduct penalties handed to the Racers’ Blaine Stoughton, Rich Leduc, Ken Block and Claude Larose and to Cincinnati’s Barry Melrose, Barry Legge, Butch Deadmarsh, Bill Gilligan and Reggie Thomas, majors to Gilligan and the Racers’ Glen Irwin, and a game misconduct to Cincinnati’s Alf Hanrahan. Cincinnati’s Rick Dudley would later also be tossed from the game in a third-period melee that started with Deadmarsh spearing a Racer. On the ice, Blaine Stoughton and Kevin Morrison scored for the Racers.

1987: Ron Handy closes in on the 50-goal mark, scoring on a slapshot from the slot 29 seconds into overtime to beat Peoria 4-3 at MSA. It’s Handy’s 48th goal. Carey Lucyk adds two assists in the game.

1990: Jim Waite’s shutout string ends at 136:19, and does in a big way ‘ Peoria scores three times in 1:11 of the first period and beats the Ice 6-4. Brian Noonan has three assists for the Ice.

1994: Christian Soucy turns aside 36 shots for his first shutout of the year, as the Ice blank Salt Lake 5-0. Hugo Belanger scores twice. The Ice also score two goals in the first 49 seconds of the third period — Dave Christian at 14 seconds and Bobby House at 49. Christian ties the team record for fastest goal from the start of a period, the two combined are the fastest pair to start a period.

2005: The Ice’s Mike Beck has three assists, including one on Michal Borovansky’s go-ahead goal with 9:32 left in the third. But Sioux Falls ties the game with the goalie pulled and 18 seconds left, and T.J. Oshie beats the Ice 2:18 into overtime. It’s Oshie’s third point, spoiling the day for 4,890 at the Coliseum.

Happy birthday to …

Ken Block: The rock on the Racers’ blueline throughout their existence, from midway through the 1974-75 season through the team’s December 1978 folding. Block was dealt to the Racers by the San Diego Mariners in 1974-75, and played 267 games in Indy, tallying eight goals and 91 assists. He also had six assists, playing all 16 playoff games in the team’s history in 1976 and 1977. Block played 15 pro seasons, starting in 1964, and made his major pro debut in 1970-71 with the Vancouver Canucks. He jumped to the WHA in 1972, and played 455 games in the league, with 16 goals and 187 assists. He also played for the New York Raiders/Golden Blades/Jersey Knights franchise and the San Diego Mariners before joining the Racers. He was known as a consummate pro who was a solid defensive defenseman and a strong passer. A native of Steinbach, Manitoba, he is 73.

John Hughes: Racers defenseman in their final aborted 1978 season. He had three goals and four assists in 22 games with the team. Hughes played in the WHA from 1974-79, joining the Phoenix Roadrunners and also playing for the Cincinnati Stingers and Houston Aeros before joining the Racers. After the team’s folding, he finished the year with the Edmonton Oilers, who advanced to the Avco World Trophy final. Hughes then played with the Canucks, Oilers and Rangers post-merger. In all, he played 442 NHL/WHA games, with 20 goals and 144 assists. He retired in 1982 after eight seasons. A native of Charlottetown, PEI, he is 63.

Keith Miller: Ice left wing in 1990-91. He had three goals and two assists in 30 games. The 1986 Nordiques eighth-round pick played five minor pro seasons from 1987-92, playing for Baltimore and Halifax in the AHL, Fort Wayne, Indy and Kansas City in the IHL, and Louisville and Dayton in the ECHL. A native of Toronto, he is 50.

Derek Grant: Ice center for 10 games in 2000-01, where he had four goals and 11 assists. Grant played six full minor pro seasons, all with the Memphis RiverKings, where he had five 30-goal seasons. His first season also included two ECHL games with South Carolina (and three playoff games the year before), and his last season was split between Memphis, Macon and Indianapolis, where he had 30 goals and 39 assists between the three teams in 47 games. A native of Cornwall, Ont., he is 43.