October 14 in Indianapolis hockey history
1948: Terry Sawchuk makes his debut for the Capitals at the Coliseum. In a 5-1 victory over Buffalo, Gerry Reid scoreds three goals to the delight of the 6,830 fans in attendance. Nels Podolsky (G, A), Enio Sclisizzi (2A) and Al Dewsbury (2A) add mutli-point nights. The game also marks the coaching debut of Ott Heller, who would coach the Caps for their final four seasons and win a championship.
1950: The defending champion Capitals open their season with a 4-1 loss in St. Louis. Bill Brennan makes 38 saves in goal and Max McNab scores the Caps’ lone goal.
1978: The Racers open their final season against the Jets at MSA. Claude St. Sauveur scores 35 seconds into the season, but the Racers fall 6-3. Wayne Gretzky makes his professional debut but is scoreless. A crowd of 11,721 witnesses the game.
1988: Brent Sapergia records the first hat trick in Ice history, scoring at 2:41, 9:33 and 19:27 of the first period. But Muskegon scored five times in the second two periods to beat the Ice 7-4. Todd Carlile had three assists. Alan Perry made 46 saves in the loss.
2000: Yvan Corbin and Kevin Schmidt score goals five seconds apart as the Ice win their home opener against Columbus 6-3. Corbin nets a hat trick for the second straight game.
2004: Garrett Roe and Todd McIlrath each have a goal and two assists in a 4-2 win over Chicago at the Coliseum.
2005: Eddie Del Grosso has two goals and an assist, and Justin Milo adds a goal and two assists to rally the Ice back from a three-goal deficit to tie Waterloo, but the Black Hawks win a penalty-filled game 6-5 in overtime. Del Grosso’s assist on Jay Sprague’s game-tying goal with 2:28 left completed a Gordie Howe hat trick for him, as he also got a fighting major in the first period.
2016: Fuel open the season in front of a crowd of nearly 5,000 at the Coliseum and it took just 92 seconds for Anthony Beauregard to put the Fuel on the board with a back-door tap-in. Alex Wideman scored twice and Jake Hildebrand was stellar with 33 saves in a 3-1 season-opening win over the Cyclones. Hildebrand would follow with a 23-save performance the next night in Cincy in a 2-1 win to sweep the opening weekend, with Tyler Currier scoring a shorthanded goal. Hildebrand was named ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the first of two times after stopping 56 of 58 shots over the weekend.
Happy birthday to …
Todd Bjorkstrand: Checkers center from 1985-87. He played 96 games with the team, with 34 goals and 49 assists, including a 33-goal, 80-point season with the team in 1986-87. After a four-year career at the University of Maine, Bjorkstrand became a prolific scorer in the old ACHL, then came to the IHL partway through the 1985-86 season — in which he tallied 58 goals and 110 points in the ACHL in just 49 games. He had three points for the Checkers that year, then exploded for 80-point years in the two following seasons with the Checkers and Fort Wayne Komets. In 1988, he played the first of 14 seasons in Denmark, where he consistently scored at least 30 goals. He has been coaching in Denmark since retiring in 2002. A native of Minneapolis, Minn., he is 55.
Dmitri Filimonov: Ice defenseman in 1995-96, where he had one assist in 10 games. Filimonov played briefly in North America. He was drafted in the third round by Winnipeg in 1991, and played 30 games with the Ottawa Senators when he came to North America in 1993. His time with the Ice was cut short by injuries, and he headed back to Europe in 1996, playing one season in Finland and nine in Russia. He retired in 2006. A native of Perm, Russia, he is 46.