Monday, January 16, 2012

Today in history: January 15

January 15 in Indianapolis hockey history
Ron Handy: A member of the Checkers in two stints -- from the end of the 1982-83 season through 1984, again in 1986-87 and then a member of the original Ice team in 1988-89. A high-scoring center, Handy had 11 points in 10 playoff games in 1983 as the Checkers won the Adams Cup, then followed with a 29-goal season the following year -- his first full pro season. He had a 10-game callup with the Islanders in 1984-85, but returned to the Checkers as a free agent in 1986-87, where he had a career year with 55 goals and 80 assists, the 135-point season was the highest-scoring in Indianapolis hockey history. He had 43 goals and 57 assists to lead the 1988-89 Ice in scoring. He also served as the team's interim coach for two games after Archie Henderson had to take a leave of absence. As a result, Handy is the most recent player-coach in Indianapolis. In total, he played 238 games with the Checkers and Ice, with 129 goals and 190 assists. He ranks ninth all-time among Indianapolis hockey players in goals and sixth in both assists and points. Handy also had nine goals and 16 assists in 26 playoff games. He played 14 NHL games with the Islanders and Blues, and was a league playoff MVP three times -- in the IHL in 1992 and the CHL in 1994 and 1995. He was also a Second-Team All-Star with the Checkers in both 1984 and 1987. Upon retirement as a player early in the 1999-2000 season, he began coaching. A native of Toronto, he is 49. 
Vesa Surenkin: Checkers defenseman for 14 games in 1986-87. He had three assists and was also scoreless in three postseason games. He headed to his native Europe to play thereafter. A native of Helsinki, Finland, he is 47. 
Rob Woodward: Ice winger for one game in 1998-99, a season he primarily spent with ECHL Columbus. The Michigan State grad is a native of Evanston, Ill., and is 41.

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