Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today in history: August 11

Four more birthdays today, including a couple of people making waves in hockey in their post-playing days. 

Connie Dion: Capitals goaltender in 1944-45 -- the final WWII year -- going 14-19-6 and posting three shutouts, and was named an AHL Second-Team All-Star. He had a 3.10 GAA. He played 39 games in finishing the year. He stood just 5-6, but the right-handed catching goaltender also played 38 NHL games for the Red Wings from 1943-45. He found a niche with the AHL's Buffalo Bisons, where he played much of the late 1940s and with whom he was a Second Team All-Star in 1946 and 1950 and the AHL's Hap Holmes Award winner in 1950. He played senior hockey through 1954. His NHL claim to fame is being the winning goaltender in the most lopsided NHL game ever -- a 15-0 Red Wings win over the Rangers on Jan. 23, 1944. He had a 23-11-4 NHL record. He has also designed a golf course in retirement in his hometown of Asbestos, Quebec, where the hockey arena is named for him. A native of St. Remi de Tinquick, Quebec, he is 93. 

Mike Vellucci: Defenseman who played 12 games for the Ice in their inaugural 1988-89 season, totaling a goal and two assists. He broke into pro hockey two years earlier with Salt Lake, and played two NHL games for the Whalers in 1987-88. After his stint with the Ice, he played in Britain, the ECHL and Colonial Hockey Leagues -- in addition to four games in the IHL -- before retiring in 1995. Today, he is the head coach and GM of the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers. He began coaching in Plymouth in 2001, and won the OHL title in 2007. A native of Farmington, Mich., he is 45. 

Jamie Spencer: One of a handful of Hoosiers to play for the Ice, the Carmel native played one game with the Ice in 1995-96. He played most of that season with ECHL Columbus, the Blackhawks' "AA" affiliate, where he had 23 goals and 23 assists. He also played the following season with AHL Baltimore. The University of Wisconsin graduate retired after the 1997 season. Today, he is working as a vice president for sales for the Minnesota Wild and an executive vice president for their AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros. A native of Carmel, he is 38. 

Adam Phillips: A big defenseman who played 47 games for the Ice in 2009-10. The 6-foot-6 blueliner had a goal and 11 assists. This past season, he had a huge freshman year at UMass, with 10 goals and 15 points in 33 games. He was invited to the Philadelphia Flyers' development camp this summer. A native of Farmington Hills, Mich., he is 21.  

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