Today sees Todd White scoring an OT goal in 1998, Brad Lauer and Dave Roche team up to end a great Ice season in 1997 in double OT, the 1990 Ice continue their title march behind a GWG from Mike Eagles, and the 1985 Checkers finish their inaugural IHL season. Also, a number of birthdays -- former Capitals Sandy Ross, Cecil Dillon, Red Almas and George Blake, ex-Chief Ed Calhoun, former Checker Pat Ribble, former IHL Ice Shane Doyle and ex-USHL Ice Joshua Shellman.
April 26 in Indianapolis hockey history
1998: Todd White scores 9:20 into overtime to give the Ice a 4-3 win over Orlando at Market Square Arena and knot their first-round series at two games apiece. The Solar Bears tied the game with 11 seconds left. Petri Varis tallies a goal and an assist. David Ling and Eric Manlow also score for the Ice. Marc Lamothe makes 48 saves in the winning effort.
1997: The Ice's season ends in the longest game in the team's IHL history as Dave Roche scores at 14:12 of the second OT to give the Cleveland Lumberjacks a 3-2 win over the Ice and a 3-1 upset win in the series. Jean-Yves Leroux and Alain Nasreddine score second-period goals to give the Ice a 2-1 lead, but former Iceman Brad Lauer ties the game with 1:23 left. Jim Waite makes 53 saves in 93:54 of hockey.
1990: The Ice take a 1-0 lead in their IHL Western Conference Final series, beating Salt Lake 4-3 in the Salt Palace. Mike Eagles scores with 9:20 left to break a 3-all tie. Brian Noonan scores twice and Jari Torkki adds a goal and an assist. Jim Waite stops 20 shots in net.
1985: The Checkers' first IHL season comes to a close with a 5-2 loss to Peoria in Game 7 of their opening-round playoff series at Carver Arena in Peoria. Jim Malwitz and John Ollson give the Checkers a 2-0 lead just 2:14 in, but Alan May slams the door the rest of the way and the Rivermen respond with five goals. Rob Holland stops 36 shots in a losing effort.
Happy birthday to ...
John Ross: "Sandy" was a defenseman for the Capitals for parts of three seasons -- 1939-40, 1941-42, and 1942-43. He was one of the original Caps, and had 13 goals and 27 assists in 108 games for the Caps. He had three goals and four assists in 22 playoff games, including four points in the 1942 Calder Cup run. In 1940, he was part of a division championship team. He returned from WWII and played a season with the St. Louis Flyers in 1945-46. He settled in Omaha -- where he also played minor pro hockey -- upon retirement. A native of Ryley, Alberta, he was born in 1917. He passed away in 1997.
Cecil Dillion: Member of the Capitals for part of the 1940-41 season -- he would be dealt to Providence partway through the year, in which he tallied 29 points. Dillon was a multi-year NHL veteran when he joined the Caps, having played 10 seasons for the Rangers and Red Wings. He had 167 goals and 131 assists in 453 games. He won the Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1933. A native of Toledo, he was the first Ohio-born NHL player, having been born in 1908. He passed away in 1969.
Ralph "Red" Almas: Goaltender for the Capitals from 1946-48. He played 129 games for the Caps -- and also one game for the Red Wings in the first of those two years in Indy. Almas played professionally through 1955, and played three NHL games as an emergency goaltender -- two with Detroit and one with Chicago -- in that stretch. A native of Saskatoon, Sask., he was born in 1924. He passed away in 2001.
George Blake: Left wing who played part of the 1945-46 and 1946-47 seasons with the Capitals. He had 13 goals in those two seasons, which were split between St. Louis, Indianapolis and Philadelphia, all of the AHL. A native of Coniston, Ont., he was born in 1923.
Ed Calhoun: Defenseman for the Chiefs from 1955-58, he was a mainstay on the Turner Cup finalist in 1957. He played 121 games for the Chiefs, scoring six goals, assisting on 32, and spending 246 minutes in the penalty box. He moved from the Chiefs to EHL Clinton to become a player-coach during the 1957-58 season, and played there until retiring in 1961 after a 10-year career in the EHL & IHL. A native of Toronto, he was born in 1931.
Pat Ribble: A player drafted by the Racers in 1974 with their fifth-round pick, Pat made it to Indianapolis 10 years later as a member of the Checkers. He played 76 games between 1984-86, with 16 goals and 35 assists. He also had three points in nine playoff games those years. They came close to the end of a 13-year pro career that saw him score 19 goals and assist on 60 in 349 NHL games with the Atlanta Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames. He retired after spending the 1986-87 season in Salt Lake. A native of Leamington, Ont., he is 60.
Shane Doyle: Defenseman who had four goals, 36 assists and 224 PIMs in 62 games with the 1988-89 Ice. It was the first full pro season in a career that would last until 2000, primarily at the "AA" level. Doyle was the Canucks' third-round pick in 1985. A native of Lindsay, Ont., he is 47.
Joshua Shellman: Defenseman who played 10 games for the Ice in 2012-13, scoring one goal. He has since played for the Michigan Warriors in the Tier II NAHL. A native of Romulus, Mich., he is 20.