Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today in history: May 3

1999: The final Ice game in the IHL results in a 3-2 loss to the heavily-favored Detroit Vipers. Trailing 2-0 in the third, the Ice's Mike Hall and Sylvain Cloutier score to tie the game. However, a defensive zone turnover in the closing seconds by Remi Royer leads to Stan Drulia’s goal with six seconds left. It brings a sudden and stunning end to what had been an exciting postseason, as Detroit clinched the series 3-1. In seven Ice playoff games that year, six were decided by one goal – including three of the four Detroit games -- and three went to overtime. The Ice would announce a move to the Central Hockey League shortly thereafter.
Paul Boutilier: As a 20-year-old, joined the Checkers for the 1983-84 season. He had been drafted 21st overall by the Islanders in 1981, and played two short stints with the big club while in -- and shortly out of -- the QMJHL, even appearing in a couple of games in the Isles' 1983 Stanley Cup run, their last of four straight titles. He has his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup as a result. The talented defenseman played 50 games for the Checkers, scoring six goals and adding 17 assists. Yet, he wouldn't last long in Indianapolis. He got the call up to Long Island midway through the year, and played the season's final 28 games in the NHL -- and also appeared in 21 postseason games as the Islanders made their fifth straight Stanley Cup Finals trip. Boutilier spent three more full seasons in the NHL -- two with the Islanders, and one split between the Bruins and North Stars, before having cups of coffee with the Rangers and Jets while spending the majority of his post-1987 career in the AHL. He also played a couple of seasons in Europe. Boutilier ended up playing 258 NHL games and totaling 110 points. A native of Sydney, Nova Scotia, he is 48. He is a member of the Nova Scotia sports Hall of Fame and has been the head of the World Curling Tour since retiring from hockey in 1991.
Beau Bilek: Defenseman who played 11 games for the IHL Ice over three different seasons from 1995-98, often coming up from ECHL Columbus, where he spent the majority of his time. He tallied one assist in those 11 games. His pro hockey career would span 1995-99, in which he played 266 games with the Columbus Chill and 17 games at the IHL/AHL level. Bilek also won the USHL's Curt Hammer Award -- given to the player who best represents the goals of the USHL and his team -- as a junior player with the hometown Des Moines Buccaneers in 1991, where he played for Bob Ferguson, who would become his coach with the Ice. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, he is 38.

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