April 19 in Indianapolis hockey history
Jim Waite has 26 saves in an epic victory, Fred Creighton replaces his coach with himself mid-series, the last championship series in the old CHL begins on Indy ice, and Red Laurence has a five-point game. Also, happy birthday to Ken Leiter, Lynn Powis and Darwin McCutcheon.
1996: The Ice open the postseason with an epic 3-2 win over the Detroit Vipers at The Palace. Ravil Gusmanov and Mike Vuknoich give the Ice a 2-0 lead after two, and Ethan Moreau scores on an assist from Danton Cole 47 seconds into the third. Jim Waite stops 26 saves in the Ice net.
1985: Two days after firing his coach mid-series and replacing him with himself, Fred Creighton leads the Checkers to a 4-0 win in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series with Peoria, tying the series at 1-1. The game features a significant brawl at 19:22 of the third, which includes both goaltenders getting involved. Rob Holland stops 26 shots for the shutout. Bob Lakso scores twice to lead the Checkers.
1984: The final Adams Cup Final series begins, and for the third straight year, includes the Checkers. The entire series is played in Indianapolis due to the opposing team -- the Oilers -- having been booted out of their arena in Tulsa earlier in the season and turned into a traveling team. Bjorn Skaare spoils the party by scoring the game-winner midway through the third to give the Oilers a 4-3 win. Kevin Devine scores twice for the Checkers. Todd Lumbard stops 31 saves, but is outdueled by John Vanbiesbrouck, who stops 41, including 17 of the 18 third-period shots he faced.
1983: The Checkers have a clincher for the ages, finishing off their semifinal series against Salt Lake in six games with an emphatic 11-4 victory. Red Laurence pots a hat trick and assists on another goal. Garth MacGuigan and Scott Howson each scores twice and add assists. Steve Stoyanovich, Mike Greeder, Ron Handy and Glen Duncan also score goals. Monty Trottier, Gord Dineen, Randy Johnston, Dave Simpson, Kevin Devine and Bruce Affleck all post two assists. Handy and Duncan score 11 seconds apart in the third period. MacGuigan and Greeder tally goals 54 seconds apart in the second, while MacGuigan and Laurence score 77 seconds apart in the first.
Happy birthday to
Lynn Powis: Center who played 14 games for the Racers in 1977-78, tallying four goals and six assists. He broke into the NHL with Chicago in 1973-74 and played five seasons in the NHL/WHA with the Blackhawks, Kansas City Scouts, Calgary Cowboys, Winnipeg Jets and the Racers. He played in Europe after leaving the WHA following the 1977-78 season. A native of Saskatoon, SK, he is 65.
Ken Leiter: Defenseman who had 10 goals and 26 assists in 68 games for the Checkers in 1983-84. He joined the Checkers as a rookie out of Michigan State, having been picked by the Isles in the fifth round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. Leiter got the call to Long Island briefly the following year, and tallied 50 points in 139 games with the Islanders between 1984-88, and four more with the North Stars in 1989-90, his final professional season. A native of Detroit, he is 53.
Darwin McCutcheon: Defenseman who played 34 games for the Ice in their inaugural 1988-89 IHL season. He had two goals, six assists and 99 PIMs. It was the last game of a four-year pro career than ran from 1985-89 -- although he did play one game with the Maple Leafs in 1981-82 before being returned to junior for another season. It would be his only NHL game. A native of Brussels, Ontario, he is 51.