Sunday, December 18, 2011

Today in history: December 18

December 18 in Indianapolis hockey history
1943: Alex Ritson scores an AHL record three unassisted goals, and ends up with four goals -- all in the third period -- as the Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Hornets. The first of his four goals broke a 1-1 tie. 

Cliff Hicks: Chiefs goaltender during their heyday from 1956-60. He backstopped the Chiefs to the Turner Cup Finals in 1957, and the Turner Cup championship in 1958, turning aside several forays in a 3-2 Game 7 victory over the Louisville Rebels. Hicks had an 82-99-14 record with the Chiefs and six shutouts -- including four in 1956-57. He had a career 3.58 GAA in Indianapolis. Hicks would retire after the 1959-60 season, spending part of it with the Omaha Knights and the EHL Greensboro Generals. A native of Ottawa, he is 81. 
Bruce Andres: Left wing for the Checkers for parts of two seasons from 1979-82. He played 43 games in Indianapolis, with seven goals and 16 assists. The Islanders' third-round pick in 1977, Andres played professionally from 1977-83. A native of Roblin, Man., he is 54.
Daniel Cleary: One of the last remaining Indianapolis Ice players active in the NHL -- along with Ethan Moreau -- Cleary started his pro career as a left wing for the Ice in 1997-98, playing four games. He was the 13th overall pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He had two goals and an assist with the Ice, and also played six games with the Blackhawks that season. He would be traded to the Edmonton Oilers the following year, and permanently get the callup to the NHL in 2000-01. He would play for Phoenix in 2003-04, but the two-way winger found a home with the Detroit Red Wings after the lockout in 2005, and has posted three 20-goal seasons, including a 26-goal year in 2010-11. He won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008, and then scored the series-winning goal in the 2009 conference semis against Anaheim and tallied five goals in the 2009 Western Conference Finals against Chicago to get the Wings back to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2009. Entering 2011-12, Cleary had played 746 NHL games, with 139 goals and 190 assists. Born in Carbonear, Newfoundland, Cleary is a native of nearby Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. He is 33.

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