October 17 in Indianapolis hockey history
1945: Postwar hockey begins for the Capitals, with a lot of familiar faces back from the service. The Caps have high hopes to open the year, and begin a 10-game unbeaten streak to win the season with a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Bisons. Floyd Perras backstops the win and Rosy Rossignol scores twice for the Caps.
1946: A crowd of 8,234 sees the Capitals and Buffalo Bisons play the Caps’ home opener. The game goes just like the previous spring’s playoff series – a 3-1 win by Buffalo with Tony Licari scoring the Caps’ goal.
1948: Ott Heller makes his debut as Capitals’ player-coach. He scores the team’s first goal in a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Flyers. Chosen because of his ability to work with young players, Heller would coach the Caps for their final four seasons.
1974: Major-leauge hockey comes to Indianapolis, as the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers play their first game, and also the first game at Indianapolis’ new Market Square Arena. The Racers fall 4-2 to the Michigan Stags. Steve Richardson scores the Racers’ first goal 1:18 into 2nd period, assisted by Joe Robertson & Ron Walters. Bob Ash takes the first penalty 22 seconds into the game. Bob Whitlock scores the first power play goal at 5:31 of the third period.
1980: The Checkers and Wichita Wind combine for 154 penalty minutes in a wild game that sees the Checkers win 5-1. Billy Carroll and Alex Pirus each tally a goal and an assist. Carroll, Mike Hordy and Wichita’s Charlie Huddy and Don Asby are all given double-game misconducts.
1981: Kelly Hrudey gets his first regular-season win as a member of the Checkers, beating Oklahoma City 3-2 with 20 saves. Garth MacGuigan scores the winner with 2:53 left on a rebound. He and Neil Hawryliw have a goal and an assist each.
1982: Dave Simpson tallies a hat trick in a 5-2 victory over Salt Lake, giving the Checkers a three-game winning streak. Randy Johnston, Greg Gilbert, Mats Hallin and Red Laurence each have two assists. Steve Stoyanovich has a goal and an assist.
1986: The Checkers open their final season with a 7-6 overtime victory over Fort Wayne in front of 8.028 at MSA. George Servinis tallies the winner at 1:05 of overtime. Ron Handy, a former Checker who has returned to the team, scores the first two goals in an eventual 135-point season. Jon Casey makes his first start for the Checkers and makes 16 saves.
1992: A packed house of 8,152 sees the Ice open against Fort Wayne, but Ian Boyce and Kory Kocur score two goals each and the Komets beat the Ice 5-2. Ivan Droppa and Kevin St. Jacques score for Indy.
1998: The Ice play their first regular-season game in the Fairgrounds Coliseum since 1994, falling to Cincinnati 3-2 in a shootout, despite Brian Noonan and Bob Lachance scoring first-period goals on Geoff Sarjeant to build a 2-0 lead. Bryan Fogarty and Barrie Moore assisted on both goals.
2004: The USHL Ice play their first OT game, falling 6-5 in a shootout to Cedar Rapids, despite a goal and an assist each from Tristin Llewellyn, Colin Vock and Brian Gifford. Future NHL player Ted Purcell had a goal and an assist for Cedar Rapids.
2009: The Ice play their first home game after winning the Clark Cup, beating Team USA 4-1. Chris Martin and Nick Dowd each have a goal and an assist. David Johnstone has two assists. Anthony Bitetto and Bryan Paulazzo also score. Cab Morris stops 18 shots.
2014: A packed house of 6,477 fans fills the Coliseum for the Indy Fuel’s opening night, the re-opening of the Coliseum, and the resumption of the fierce Indy-Fort Wayne rivalry for the first time in 15 years. Once the puck is dropped, the Fuel start the game on fire. They build a 3-0 lead after two, but eventually fall to Fort Wayne 5-4 in a shootout. Mathieu Brisebois scores the first goal in team history, with Nick Bruneteau and Robert Czarnik getting the assists, at 10:18 of the first period. Pete Massar follows with a goal, and Czarnik scores the first PPG. Justin Holl takes the first penalty at 11:53 of the first. The Fuel trail 4-3, but Patrick Cullen scores a PPG with a minute left to send the game into overtime. Mac Carruth stops 20 shots in the debut
Happy birthday to …
Bob Roselle: Racers center for one game in the 1975-76 season. It was the only major pro game of his six-year minor pro career, which featured two 20-goal seasons in the CHL. A native of Montreal, he is 67.
Rusty Patenaude: Right wing for the Racers in 1977-78. He had 23 goals and 19 assists in 76 games, the final of his six WHA seasons. He played 431 WHA games from 1972-78 — all for Edmonton except his season with the Racers — with 159 goals and 131 assists. He had 42 goals for Edmonton in 1975-76, and tallied 20 in each of his WHA seasons. After retirement, he returned home, ran the family farm and became active in local politics. A native of Williams Lake, BC, he is 68.
Chris Stafne: Ice forward in 2008-09. He played 22 games for the team, tallying six goals and three assists. He would be traded to Fargo midseason and actually play against the Ice in the Clark Cup Final that year. Stafne played one more USHL season for Des Moines, then played two years at Div. III UW-Stout. A native of Duluth, Minn., he is 28.