Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Today in history: April 26

Some playoff memories, both good and bad, on April 26

1990: Mike Eagles scores the game-winner as the Ice take a crucial Game 1 in Salt Lake in the IHL West Division Finals 4-3. The Ice would beat Salt Lake in five games and go on to win the Turner Cup. 
1997: This one is not a happy memory, as ex-Iceman Brad Lauer scores on Jim Waite deep into the second overtime and the Cleveland Lumberjacks beat the Ice 3-2 to eliminate them in four games in a best-of-5 series.
1998: Todd White scores a thrilling overtime goal to knot the Ice’s first-round playoff series with Orlando at 2-2, as the Ice win 4-3. They would fall to the Solar Bears in the deciding fifth game two days later. 

Happy birthday:
John Ross: Defenseman who played 29 games with the inaugural Capitals team in 1939-40, tallying three goals and six assists, and then had seven points in 36 games in the 1941-42 Calder Cup-winning year. His best season was 1942-43, when he tallied seven goals and 17 assists for the Caps. A native of Ryley, Alberta, he was born in 1917.
Cecil Dillon: Right wing who played 15 games with the Capitals in 1940-41, scoring one goal. He would be traded to the Providence Reds for Hal Jackson -- a defenseman who would become a mainstay in Indianapolis hockey circles for decades. He was at the end of his career at the time -- he had led the New York Rangers to the 1933 Stanley Cup, and led the team in scoring from 1936-38 -- three straight seasons. He came up to the Rangers in 1930 and never missed a game for eight years, scoring 167 goals in 11 NHL seasons -- nine with the Rangers, and the 1939-40 season with the Red Wings. He was named to the NHL All-Star Team three times, and played in the 1937 All-Star Game. One of the NHL's first American-born players, he was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1908. He passed away in 1969.
Ralph "Red" Almas: Capitals goaltender from 1946-48. He backstopped teams that posted winning records both years, but in the AHL's strongest division, missed the playoffs. The Caps went 33-18-13 in Almas' first year as a goaltender, yet missed the postseason because they finished fourth in a five-team division. After his stint in Indy, Almas spent four years with the AHL's St. Louis Flyers. He played three NHL games as an injury replacement -- for the Red Wings in 1946-47 and 1952-53, and for the Blackhawks in 1950-51. A native of Saskatoon, he was born in 1924. He passed away in May 2001. 
George Blake: Winger who played parts of the 1945-46 and 1946-47 seasons with the Capitals. A native of Coniston, Ontario, he was born in 1923.
Ed Calhoun: Defenseman who was a mainstay with the early Chiefs teams, playing 121 games with the team from 1955-58. He tallied six goals and 32 assists in those games, and was part of a Calder Cup finalist in 1957. After his stint in Indianapolis, he would play several seasons with the EHL's Clinton Comets. A native of Toronto, he was born in 1931. 
Pat Ribble: Played for the Checkers in their first two IHL seasons from 1984-86, totaling 76 games and scoring 16 goals and 35 assists. Ribble was actually a Racers draft pick in 1974, but opted for the Atlanta Flames' system in the NHL instead, and played 349 NHL games with the Flames -- in two stints and in two cities -- Blackhawks, Maple Leafs and Capitals -- from 1975-83. He also played in Indianapolis as a visiting player with the Colorado Flames and Oklahoma City Stars of the old CHL and Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the IHL before arriving as a Checker. The defenseman was a native of Leamington, Ontario, and was born in 1954. 
Shane Doyle: Member of the Ice's first team in 1988-89, totaling four goals and 36 assists from his defense position. He would spend several years in the ECHL, Colonial, Southern and Western Professional hockey leagues before retiring in 2000. A native of Lindsay, Ontario, he is 44 today.

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