Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today in history: April 21

A not-so-good memory on Today in History, and some good guys' birthdays.
1991: One of the most memorable playoff series in Indianapolis hockey history ends on a sour note, as the Fort Wayne Komets upset the Ice 4-3 in overtime, winning a close seven-game series 4-3. Brian Noonan's two third-period goals rallied the Ice back from a two-goal deficit and sent the game into OT. From there, Stephane Beauregard and the Ice's Jim Waite turned aside shot after shot, but Lonnie Loach ended the game with his second goal of the night 1:31 left in overtime. It was an amazing, back-and-forth series, but still, the mention of Loach's name causes an Ice fan's heart to flutter. It started and ended with OT games at the Coliseum. Five of the seven games were decided by one goal, a sixth by two goals. The Komets would advance from there to the Turner Cup Finals, where they lost to Peoria.

Reg Thomas: Member of the Racers from 1975-78, playing 208 games in the red, white and blue. A crowd favorite, he tallied 53 goals in those games and was one of the team's leaders in its heyday. He had seven goals in the 1977 postseason, which featured a sweep of the Cincinnati Stingers. Thomas' playing career also had spans with the Los Angeles Sharks, Michigan Stags, Baltimore Blades and Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA and the Quebec Nordiques in the NHL. All told, he played 467 games at the big-league level, totaling 128-145-273. Thomas returned to Indianapolis and coached the original Ice team in 1988-89 after Archie Henderson had to step down at mid-season. He led the team to an 8-17-1 record. He joins Bruce Cassidy, Charlie Skjodt, Pat Stapleton and player/coaches Ron Handy, Leo Lamoureux, John Sorrell, Herb Lewis and Ott Heller as men who both played and coached Indianapolis hockey teams. A native of London, Ontario, he is 58. 
Ron Ullyot: Coached the Checkers in their final two IHL seasons, from 1985-87. Led the team to a 78-73-14 record in those years and took them to the postseason twice. He had a long career on the other end of I-69 before coming to Indy, playing seven years and coaching four with the Fort Wayne Komets. Interestingly, Ullyot coached in both the Checkers' first and final postseason games -- he led the Fort Worth Texans when they faced (and beat) the Checkers in the 1980 CHL playoffs, and obviously coached the team in its final two seasons. A native of Saskatoon, he is 65.  
Ken Boone: An enforcer who racked up some unfathomable penalty minute totals in three seasons with the CHL Ice. He was a member of the Ice's 2000 Miron Cup championship squad. He scored 24 goals in 140 games with the team from 1999-01 and again in their final CHL season of 2003-04, but also put up 346 PIMs in 70 games in his first year, then followed it up with a 315 PIM season the next year -- in just 42 games. He also scored 13 goals that season. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Boone is 35 and, like many former CHL Ice players, resides in Indianapolis.  
Brandon Christian: Winger who played 10 games, scored a goal and totaled 116 PIMs in the 2000-01 season with the CHL Ice. After taking a couple years out of hockey, he has played the last seven seasons in a Quebec senior league. He hails from Burlington, Ontario, and is 39 today.

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