Monday, April 28, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 28

Today's edition sees the 2009 Ice clinch a Clark Cup Final spot, the 1998 Ice season end with a Game 5 playoff loss, and the 1977 Racers dropping an overtime game despite two goals each from Reggie Thomas and Gene Peacosh. Several birthdays, including former Chiefs George Hayes, Joe Connors, a member of the short-lived Capitols team (and future NHL player) Howie Menard, former Checkers Frank "Seldom" Beaton and Garnet McKechney, and former Ice Colin Pepperall.

April 28 in Indianapolis hockey history
2009: The Ice clinch a spot in the Clark Cup Final with a 5-3 win against Green Bay, clinching the series 3-1. The Ice trail 2-0 after a period, but Max Cook, Ben Albertson, Zach Golombiewski and Grant Blakey all score second-period goals. Mike Cichy assists on three goals. Joe Hartman adds a third-period empty-netter to start the celebration. Brett Bennett stops 21 shots and adds an assist. An airtight Ice defense allows only four third-period shots to the Gamblers. 
1998: The Ice drop a 3-0 decision in Orlando in the deciding game 5 of their first-round playoff series. Marc Lamothe stops 31 shots in a losing effort, but the Ice are blanked by Orlando's David Littman, who makes 29 saves. It marks the final game behind the bench for longtime Ice coach Bob Ferguson. 
1977: The Racers fall behind 3-0 in their playoff series to Quebec, as Paulin Bordeleau scored his second goal of the game at 5:29 of overtime to beat the Racers 6-5. Reggie Thomas and Gene Peacosh each had two goals. Thomas' second goal gave the Racers a 3-1 lead. Peacosh scored at 3:25 of the third to tie the game at 5-5.

Happy birthday to ... 
George Hayes: Defenseman who played a partial season with the Chiefs in 1956-57, a year in which they advanced to the Turner Cup Final. He had 44 points, splitting the year between Huntington and the Chiefs. He also had two goals in eight games in the postseason. He played professionally in the EHL, IHL and PCHL from 1947-59. A native of Toronto, he was born in 1926. 
Joe Connors: Center who played a partial season with the Chiefs in 1960-61, splitting time between Indy and Omaha, where he had 21 goals and 53 points total that year. He was part of the controversial trade of Pierre Brillant -- the Chiefs' scoring wizard on three playoff teams -- coming back to Indianapolis with Bep Guidolin. Connors continued to play in the EHL and IHL through 1966. A native of Glace Bay, NS, he was born in 1933. 
Howie Menard: Center who played the abbreviated 1963 season with the Capitols in the inaugural season of the Central Hockey League (then known as the CPHL). He was the team's big scorer, ending up with 25 goals and 37 assists in 69 games. The Caps played just nine games in Indianapolis that season due to the Coliseum explosion. He got his NHL break after the 1967 expansion, and played 151 games in the league, with the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and Oakland Seals between 1967-70. In 1972, he set the AHL record for points in a postseason game with seven. He continued to play in the minors until retiring in 1976. A native of Timmins, Ontario, he is 71.
Frank Beaton: Left wing who played 77 games for the Checkers in 1981-82, tallying 13 goals and 28 assists, as well as 270 PIMs, en route to helping lead the team to its first title. He also had three goals, six assists and 36 PIMs in 13 playoff games that season. Known as a defensive stalwart, his nickname was "Seldom." Beaton played professionally from 1973-83, including 188 NHL/WHA games with the Cincinnati Stingers, Edmonton Oilers, Birmingham Bulls and New York Rangers. He played his last NHL game in 1980, and played all of his remaining seasons in the CHL -- two in Birmingham and one with the Checkers. He was part of the Birmingham South Stars team that lost to the Checkers in the 1983 Adams Cup Final, which represented his last professional hockey game. He settled in Birmingham upon retirement from hockey. A native of Antigonish, NS, he is 61. 
Garnet McKechney: The Islanders' second-round pick in 1983, he played three games for the Checkers in 1985-86, with one assist. It was his first pro season, and he played 26 games for three IHL teams after finishing his junior career that spring. He played one full minor-league season in Peoria the next year, and then played college hockey in Canada. A native of Swift Current, Sask., he has settled in Edmonton upon retirement from hockey. He is 49.
Colin Pepperall: Left wing for the Ice in 1998-99, playing nine games with two goals and two assists as a rookie. He had been a perennial 30-goal scorer in junior and was a fifth-round Rangers draft pick, but played the majority of his 11-year pro career in the ECHL, with three 20-goal seasons before retiring in 2009. A native of Niagara Falls, Ont., he is 36. 

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