Monday, April 18, 2011

Today in history: April 19

Some big offense -- and some great goaltending -- are part of today in history. 

1983: The Checkers finish off Salt Lake in fine fashion, beating the Eagles 11-4 in Game 6 of their semifinal series. Red Laurence registers his second hat trick of the series and adds an assist. Garth MacGuigan scores twice and adds an assist. Multiple players register multi-point nights. 
1984: The final Adams Cup Finals opens at the Coliseum, with the Checkers facing the CHL Oilers – a team formerly based in Tulsa that had been taken over by the league due to financial difficulties. Kevin Devine scored twice, but the Oilers netted the game-winner midway through the third and won 4-3. An injury to Checkers starting goaltender Rob Holland forced them to turn to backups Todd Lumbard and Lorne Molleken in the final series. The original Central Hockey League, down to five teams with its champ homeless, would fold after the season. The two healthy franchises -- the Checkers and Salt Lake Golden Eagles -- would migrate to the IHL. 
1985: Rob Holland posts a playoff shutout as the Checkers beat Peoria 4-0 to tie their IHL first-round playoff series at 1-1. Bob Lakso scores twice for the Checkers. Holland also gets a game misconduct with 38 seconds left for joining a melee. Peoria would go on to win the series. 
1996: Despite being badly outshot, the Ice’s Ethan Moreau scores the game-winner and the Ice beat the Detroit Vipers 3-2 in the opening game of the 1996 Turner Cup Playoffs. The Vipers would win the best-of-5 series in five games. 
2000: Jamie Morris allows just four goals in four playoff starts, and backstops a sweep of Oklahoma City, as the Ice win 3-1. Bernie John scores the game-winner in front of a delighted crowd at the Pepsi Coliseum. The Ice clinch a spot in the Miron Cup Finals with a three-game sweep of Oklahoma City.

Lynn Powis: Center who played 14 games for the Racers in 1977-78, totaling four goals and six assists. They would be the final games of an eight-year North American career for Powis, who went to Europe to finish out his career. He played 283 games in the NHL and WHA with the Chicago Blackhawks, Kansas City Scouts, Calgary Cowboys and Winnipeg Jets. Born in Saskatoon, he is 62.

Ken Leiter: Defenseman who broke into pro hockey as a 22-year-old with the Checkers in 1983 and played 68 games, totaling 10 goals and 26 assists. He would also total three goals and seven points in 10 playoff games that year, leading the young team to a surprise trip to the Adams Cup Finals. The next year, Leiter got the call up to the New York Islanders, and had spot duty for two seasons before getting a full-time callup in 1986. He played 143 games for the Islanders -- all but 14 from 1986-88 -- totaling 14 goals and 36 assists. A native of Detroit, Leiter is 50.
Darwin McCutcheon: Member of the inaugural Ice team in 1988-89, McCutcheon played 37 games for the Ice and scored two goals. A defenseman, he played one NHL game for the Maple Leafs while a junior player in 1981-82, and never returned. That final season was split between Indy and Flint, and was his final one as a pro. A native of Brussels, Ontario, he is 49.


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