October 10 in Indianapolis hockey history
1975: The Racers open their second season with 7-1 a win in Denver, thanks to two goals by Randy Wyrozub.
1978 : Wayne Gretzky plays his first exhibition game at Market Square Arena. The Racers win 8-5 over Birmingham. Goaltender Gary Smith says, “He passes the puck better than anybody in hockey today.” He scores a power-play goal, deflecting Don Larway’s shot into the net. He also assisted on goals by Blaine Stoughton and sprung Lawrway for a breakaway. The Indianapolis Star misspells Gretzky’s name in its headline: “Gretsky: Looking Good.” 1,912 fans see the Great One’s debut.
1979: The Checkers open their first season beating the Cincinnati Stingers 8-1. Ed Pizunski scores the first goal at 2:16 of the first period. Charlie Skjodt also scores two goals for the Checkers. Former Racer Jim Park makes 39 saves in his debut.
1996: The Ice open their road schedule and get their first win of a division championship season with a 4-1 win in Detroit. Jean-Yves Leroux scores twice and Sergei Klimovich adds a goal and an assist. Marc Lamothe makes 30 saves, his second straight game allowing just one goal.
1998: The Ice open what would become their final IHL season with a 3-2 victory in Fort Wayne. Bryan Fogarty and Brian Noonan score goals in regulation, and Barrie Moore and Bob LaChance score in the shootout to give the Ice the win. Marc Lamothe makes 31 saves and goes 4-for-4 in the shootout. Noonan also takes 26 PIMs, one of the highest totals in team history. It’s also the first coaching victory for Bruce Cassidy in the IHL.
2008: Ben Albeertson scores on a penalty shot nine seconds into the second period. Jason Bourgea adds a go-ahead goal at 1:15 of the third – assisted by Stanislav Galiev and Torey Krug – and Brent Gwidt tallies an empty-netter assisted by Albertson later on in a 3-1 win over Fargo. Brett Bennett makes 25 saves in the win.
Happy birthday to …
Sam Mulholland: Left wing for the Capitals for 12 games in the 1949-50 season. He was scoreless in his dozen game with the Caps. He had 26 points in the AHL as a rookie the previous year, but was playing senior hockey by 1951. A native of Kingston, Ont., he was born in 1929.
Mike Hordy: Checkers defenseman from 1979-82, the team’s first three seasons. In 213 games, he had 31 goals and 129 assists. He also had five goals and 13 assists in 22 playoff games with the Checkers over those three seasons, including 10 points in 10 games in the 1982 Adams Cup championship run. He was also named a CHL First Team All-Star that season, and was a Second Team All-Star his other two years with the Checkers. The Islanders’ fifth-round pick in 1976, Hordy played 11 games on Long Island from 1978-80. He was a prolific-scoring defenseman in his nine pro seasons, winning the CHL’s Most Improved Defenseman award in 1978 with the Isles’ then-affiliate in Fort Worth. Upon retirement, he settled on Long Island, where he is a financial adviser. A native of Thunder Bay, Ont., he is 61.
Jeff Shantz: Ice center from 1993-95. He played 51 games with the Ice, scoring 14 goals and 24 assists. The Blackhawks’ second-round pick in 1992, Shantz was quickly called up to Chicago in each year and eventually played 642 NHL games, with 72 goals and 139 assists from 1993-2003. Shantz played for the Blackhawks, Flames and Avalanche, and was known as a strong checking forward. He continued to play eight more years in Europe before retiring in 2011. A native of Duchess, Alberta, he is 44.
Blaz Emersic: Ice winger in 1999-2000. He came over at midseason and played 38 games with the Ice, scoring 20 goals and adding 18 assists. He also had two goals and two assists in 12 playoff games, scoring the championship-winning goal in Game 7 of the Miron Cup Final. Emersic played in North America, in the ECHL, ECHL and AHL, through 2004, with two 30-goal seasons from 2001-03. Since, he has remained a prolific scorer in Europe, where remained active through 2014. He had 58 points in Britain in 2013-14. A native of Ljubljana, Slovenia, he is 37.
Chris Richards: Ice center in 2000-01. He had 14 goals and 44 assists for the team in his first full professional season in North America, playing 56 games for the team. The former Ohio State Buckeye would go on to play 11 seasons, all in the CHL, before retiring in 2011. He tallied at least 20 goals in 10 pro seasons, including a 39-goal, 106-point year in 2006-07 with Youngstown. A native of Cornwall, Ont., he is 42.