Friday, July 22, 2011

Today in history: July 22

Another birthday post: 
Mike McNeill: Left wing who played a season and a half with the Ice from 1989-91, and was a key part of the Ice's Turner Cup championship team in 1990. He was the IHL's Playoff MVP that year, scoring six goals and four assists in the playoffs. All told, he had 33 goals and 33 assists for the Ice in 107 games. He got the NHL call to Chicago in 1990-91, and later was traded to the Nordiques that season. He played 63 NHL games, all in the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons, and then spent six more years in the IHL with the Milwaukee Admirals, before playing from 1998-2000 in Germany. McNeill's best offensive season was the year before he came to the Ice, as he scored 27 goals and 62 points for the Fort Wayne Komets in 1988-89, his rookie pro season. While he was born in Winona, Minn., McNeill grew up in Indiana, moving to South Bend when he was 2, as his father was Notre Dame's assistant coach. McNeill graduated from South Bend St. Joseph's High School and attended Notre Dame. Today, he is a volunteer assistant coach for the Irish and lives in South Bend. He is 45. 

Benoit Thibert: The first starting goaltender for the CHL Ice in 1999-2000, Thibert helped usher in a new era with a 27-23-2 record and a 3.39 GAA that year. Thibert also had three shutouts that season. He started the first four playoff games, but gave way to Jamie Morris, who put together an incredible run. The Ice won the Miron Cup championship in 2000, with Thibert being an integral part of the team's regular season and early playoff success. The following year, he played for the UHL's Missouri River Otters, and made one appearance in the higher-level IHL. He played nine games for UHL Adirondack in 2002-03, and then another season of senior hockey in Quebec. Prior to the Ice, he played the 1998-99 season for WPHL Alexandria, playing for his future Ice coach Rod Davidson. A native of Chateaguay, Quebec, he is 34. 

Garrett Kennedy: Defenseman for the USHL Ice in 2008-09, totaling four goals, five assists and 88 PIMs in 54 games. He also had a pair of assists in the postseason, helping lead the Ice to the Clark Cup championship. Kennedy then took his talents to Miami University in Ohio. After redshirting in 2009-10, Kennedy had a goal and an assist in 16 games this past season. A native of Brighton, Mich., he is 22. 

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