Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today in history: August 23 & 24

Another catch-up for a couple of days
August 23
Ken Desjardine: Defenseman with the Racers in their inaugural 1974-75 season. He had eight assists and 66 PIMs in 46 games in the Circle City. Previously, he spent two years with the Quebec Nordiques. The ex-Michigan Tech player suited up for one more year professionally, but spent most of 1975-76 with the CHL's Salt Lake Golden Eagles. A native of Toronto, he is 64. 
Kevin Beaton: Defenseman who played one game for the Checkers in 1983-84. He played the year primarily with the IHL's Toledo Goaldiggers, where he totaled 84 points. He played one more pro season, splitting it between AHL Rochester and Europe. A native of Oshawa, Ontario, he is 51.
Jay Sprague:  Ice forward in 2005-06 who totaled 17 goals and 16 assists in 56 games. He parlayed that into a four-year career at Michigan State University. He played four games professionally for the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings last season. A native of Georgetown, Ontario, he is 25. 

August 24
Bill Goldsworthy: One of the last player-coaches in hockey, Goldsworthy joined the Racers in the 1977-78 season as a right wing and a coach. He had an 8-10-18 line in 32 games as a player, and an 8-20-1 record as a coach, as he replaced Ron Ingram with 29 games left in the season. Goldsworthy had a long NHL career that lasted from 1964-77 with the Bruins, North Stars and Rangers. He was considered the first star in North Stars history, as he had five 30-goal seasons between 1969-75. He had 48 goals in 1973-74 and a 37-35-72 line the following year. He served as captain from 1975-76. His move to the Racers was his first WHA action, and he would play 17 games the following season with the Edmonton Oilers before retiring. He had 565 points in 820 regular-season NHL and WHA games over 15 seasons. He would later coach in the Central Hockey League with the San Antonio Iguanas. A native of Waterloo, Ontario, he was born in 1944. He passed away in 1996 due to complications from AIDS -- the first hockey player to publicly admit to having the disease. He was a member of Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series. His No. 8 was retired by the Minnesota North Stars. 
Rich Leduc: Center who played 41 games for the Racers in their final two seasons, from 1977 to the aborted 1978-79 campaign. He had 15 goals and 24 assists. He joined the Racers from Cincinnati in 1977-78, and then played for the Quebec Nordiques after the Racers folded. In total, he had 26 goals in 1978-79, and he had 21 when the Nordiques were absorbed into the NHL the following season. It came near the end of a 10-year pro career that began in 1971 and led to his first NHL callup in 1972-73 with the Boston Bruins. He made his mark with five years in the WHA, primarily with Cincinnati. He had a 52-goal, 101-point season for the Stingers in 1976-77, a team the Racers knocked out of the playoffs in four games. All told, he had 195 goals and 195 assists in 394 WHA games, and 223 goals and 233 assists when NHL totals are added in. He retired after the 1981 season. A native of Ile Perrot, Quebec, he is 60. 
Jake Maida: Goaltender who played 12 games for the Ice in their inaugural 2004-05 USHL season. He had a 3-7-0 record and a 3.09 GAA with the Ice. He also played with Des Moines that season, and eventually played a couple of years with the University of St. Thomas. A native of Duluth, Minnesota, he is 26. 

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