Four birthdays today
Bill Prentice: Defenseman for the Racers in two different stints, in 1975-76 and again in 1977-78. He played 59 games for the Racers, totaling five goals and three assists. He also played in the WHA from 1973-78, often splitting time between WHA teams and the minors. He played in every WHA season but the last, totaling 158 games with the Houston Aeros, Quebec Nordiques, Racers and Edmonton Oilers. A native of Lindsay, Ontario, Prentice is 61.
James Black: Ice defenseman in 1995-96, where he led the team in scoring with 32 goals and 50 assists from the blueline. He also played 13 NHL games and eight postseason games with the Blackhawks that season. The 94th selection in the 1989 NHL draft by the Hartford Whalers, he made his pro hockey debut that season, playing primarily with AHL Binghamton for two yeras -- playing one game in Hartford in each. He played partial seasons with the Whalers in 1991-92 and the North Stars/Stars from 1992-94 before sticking with the Blackhawks after his callup in late 1996. He played two more full seasons with Chicago and three with the Washington Capitals. His best NHL season came in 1998-99, where he totaled 16 goals and 30 points for Washington. In total, he played 352 NHL games. A versatile player, he often played on the blueline, but could also play forward and quarterback the power play. A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, he is 42.
Matt Cooney: Left wing who played 29 games for the Ice in their final IHL season, 1998-99. The Cornell grad played two pro seasons -- spending the previous year with ECHL Jacksonville, and splitting 1998-99 between the Ice and the ECHL Columbus Chill. He had two goals and nine assists for the Ice. A native of Wilcox, Saskatchewan, he is 37.
Steve Jakiel: Ice goaltender in 2005-06, where he was 11-5-2 with a 2.75 GAA. He also was the top goaltender in the postseason, starting all five games in the Ice's playoff run that year, winning two against Cedar Rapids. Jakiel briefly played for the University of Michigan, but played the next three years for Div. III Curry College, playing 47 games before graduating in 2010. A native of Santa Clarita, Calif., he is 25.