May 5 in Indianapolis hockey history
1982: The Checkers fall 5-3 to the Dallas Black Hawks in Game 2 of the CHL Adams Cup Final at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. Neil Hawryliw scores the game’s first goal and adds an assist, Mike Hordy assists on two goals, and Frank “Seldom” Beaton and Kevin Devine both score for the Checkers, the latter tying the game up in the third period. But Jock Callander scored twice in the final 11:00 to give Dallas the win and even the series at a game apiece.
1990: The Ice clinch a spot in the Turner Cup Final when Brian Noonan scores at 2:33 of overtime to beat Salt Lake 3-2 in the game and 4-1 in the series. Sean Williams and Mike Stapleton score power play goals in regulation, the latter tying the game with 4:12 left. Jim Waite makes 18 saves in the win.
2000: Chris MacKenzie scores in overtime to give the Ice a 3-2 win over Columbus and a 2-1 series lead in the Miron Cup Final. Jamie Morris posts the win in net.
Happy birthday to …
Jim Conacher: Center who returned from WWII to play two seasons for the Capitals from 1945-47. In 56 games, he had 32 goals and 48 assists, and wouldn’t stay in the minors long. “Pencil” got called up to Detroit each year, and stayed there for (nearly) good from the midpoint of 1946-47 on. He was dealt to Chicago in 1948, and turned in a 25-goal season for the Blackhawks in 1948-49. He played 328 NHL games, with 85 goals and 202 points, from 1945-53 with the Red Wings, Blackhawks and Rangers. A native of Motherwell, Scotland, he is 96.
Bruce Affleck: Defenseman who played parts of four seasons for the Checkers from 1980-84. He was a key part of both Adams Cup titlists in 1982 and 1983, and was named the CHL playoff MVP in 1983. He played 155 games for the Checkers, with 28 goals and 119 assists. He played two full seasons with the Checkers — 1980-81 and 1983-84. In-between, he played part of the season in Switzerland and returned to Indy for the end of the season, where he participated in the playoffs. He had 18 points in 13 games in each the 1982 and 1983 Adams Cup runs, and played 31 total postseaon games for the Checkers, with three goals and 39 assists. The California Seals’ second-round pick in 1974 (and the Cleveland Crusaders’ WHA first-round pick the same year), Affleck made his NHL debut with the St. Louis Blues in 1974-75, and played the next three full NHL seasons with the Blues. He also suited up for the Canucks and Islanders in a 280-game, 80-point NHL career. Three times, he was named the CHL’s top defenseman — in 1979 with Salt Lake, 1980 with Dallas and 1981 with the Checkers. He retired after putting up 53 points in the 1983-84 season. He has spent much of his post-playing career in the Blues’ front office, and he is currently the team’s president of business operations. A native of Penticton, BC, he is 63.
Tim Thomas: Defenseman who played 10 games for the Checkers in 1985-86, with three goals and five assists, shortly after graduating from Wisconsin. A 1984 U.S. Olympian, he would play three pro seasons — one with the Checkers, one in Europe and one with AHL Baltimore. A native of Richfield, Minn., he is 54.
Mike Stapleton: A second-generation player, he is the son of beloved former Racer Pat Stapleton. But Mike (who also would be called “Whitey” in honor of his popular father) made a name for himself in Indianapolis, as a key part of the 1990 Ice Turner Cup championship team. Drafted by the Blackhawks in the seventh round in 1984, Stapleton played 150 games for the Ice between 1989-92, tallying 52 goals and 102 assists. He had 18 points in 13 games in the 1990 Turner Cup run, and in total had 10 goals and 14 assists in 20 playoff games. He made his NHL debut in 1986-87 with Chicago after finishing his junior career and a stint with the Canadian National Team. He played 697 NHL games with 71 goals and 182 points, playing for Chicago, Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Phoenix, Atlanta, the New York Islanders, and Vancouver between 1986-2001. He finished his career in Europe, retiring in 2004 and spending time in coaching in the NAHL, AHL and OHL. A native of Sarnia, Ont., he spent a significant part of his youth in Indianapolis, and played youth hockey in the city. He is 51.
Casey Thrush: Fuel forward for three games in 2015-16. He joined the team in training camp, and then returned late in the season. Thrush played for four teams in his rookie year – also playing for Evansville, South Carolina and Allen, with four goals and four assists in 25 games. He had 30 points for Elmira in 2016-17. Thrush came to the Fuel after a four-year college career at New Hampshire. A native of Easton, Md., he is 25.