Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today in history: May 5

Some OT heroics on this date in local hockey history, and some significant birthdays:  

1990: Brian Noonan’s overtime goal puts the Ice into the IHL Turner Cup Finals, after a 3-2 victory over Salt Lake to clinch the best-of-7 series 4-1. Jim Waite is in net for his sixth playoff victory.
2000: Chris MacKenzie scores in OT to give the Ice a 3-2 victory over Columbus and a 2-1 lead in the CHL Miron Cup Finals, which they'd eventually win in seven games. 

Jim Conacher: Center who played 56 games for the Capitals between 1945-47, totaling 32 goals and 48 assists. "Pencil" -- so called because of his weight (5-10, 155 pounds) -- was fifth on the Caps in scoring in 1945-46 with 47 points (including 30 assists), despite playing just 32 games that season after starting the year in Detroit. He'd end up in Detroit at the end of 1947, and would stay in the NHL. He played 328 NHL games over eight seasons with Detroit, Chicago and the New York Rangers. A native of Motherwell, Scotland, he turns 90 today.
Bruce Affleck: The 21st overall pick in the 1974 NHL draft (and 13th in the WHA draft), Affleck broke into the NHL that season, and would play five years with the St. Louis Blues and part of a sixth season with the Vancouver Canucks between 1974-80. He was the Blues' Rookie of the Year in 1975-76. In 1980, he joined the Checkers for a successful four-year stint. A mobile puck-moving defenseman who helped anchor a veteran blueline, Affleck totaled 58 points in 1980-81, then started each of the next two seasons in Switzerland. In both, he came back to Indianapolis to finish the year, and totaled 18 playoff point, helping lead the Checkers to a pair of Adams Cup titles. He had 13 goals -- his professional career high -- and 40 assists for the Checkers in 1983-84, his final pro season, in which he was the CHL's MVP. Over those four years, he played 155 regular-season and 33 playoff games for the Checkers, totaling 28 goals and 119 assists. In the postseaon, he had three goals and 41 assists -- he was more than a point-a-game player from the blueline throughout his tenure. He was the Bobby Orr Trophy recipient as the CHL's top defenseman in 1980-81 and 1983-84 (and also in 1979-80 with the Dallas Black Hawks). Today, he is the St. Louis Blues' vice president of sales, and has been a Blues television commentator. A native of Penticton, British Columbia, he is 57.
Tim Thomas: Defenseman who played 10 games with the Checkers at the end of the 1986-87 season after wrapping up his college career at the University of Wisconsin. He had three goals and five assists in that season. He would play two more pro seasons -- one in Europe and a 10-game stint in the AHL with Baltimore. A native of Richfield, Minn., he is 48.
Mike Stapleton: One of a handful of second-generation Indianapolis players, Mike spent many of his formative years in Indianapolis while his father Pat patrolled the blueline for (and later coached) the Indianapolis Racers. Stapleton broke into the NHL in 1986-87 with the Blackhawks, but found himself with the Ice in 1989-90 -- in time for the team's Turner Cup championship run. He had nine goals and 10 assists in the postseason run and ranked among the team's top playoff performers. His 19 postseason points were one shy of Mike Eagles' mark that season. He returned the next year and posted a 29-goal season. Over 150 games in an Ice uniform from 1989-92, Stapleton dented the net 52 times and recorded 102 assists. In the playoffs, he had a 10-14-24 line in 20 games. After 1992, he got a permanent callup to the NHL, where he'd have a long career with the Blackhawks, Penguins, Oilers, Jets/Coyotes, Thrashers, Islanders and Canucks. In total, he played 697 NHL games over 14 seasons, totaling 71 goals, 111 assists and 342 PIMs. He finished his career playing three seasons in Europe, capping off a pro career that lasted 18 seasons in 2004. He is currently an assistant coach with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch. A native of Sarnia, Ontario, he is 45.


No comments:

Post a Comment