Thursday, May 15, 2014

This day in Indianapolis hockey history: May 15

The 1982 Checkers claim a championship, and we honor the birthdays of fomer Capital Jim Hay and IHL Ice Taj Schaffnit.

May 15 in Indianapolis hockey history
1982: The Checkers claim the Adams Cup championship, beating the Dallas Black Hawks 5-1 at the Coliseum. Garth MacGuigan scores a first-period goal to put the Checkers ahead, but the Hawks tie it after one. Red Laurence scores twice, sandwiched around a Randy Johnston goal in the second period to make it 4-1, and Steve Stoyanovich adds an insurance tally in the third to send the 6,423 on hand at the Coliseum into celebration mode. Kelly Hrudey stops 18 of the 19 shots he faces and is named postseason MVP. The Checkers win the series four games to two. It's the first championship for an Indianapolis hockey team since the Chiefs won the 1958 IHL title, and the first to be clinched on home ice since the 1950 Capitals.

Happy birthday to ...
Jim Hay: "Red-Eye" was a right-shot defenseman for the Capitals in 1951-52, their final season. He had seven goals, 15 assists and 129 PIMs in 68 games while protecting the net in front of Glenn Hall. The following season, he got the call to play for the Red Wings, and would play 42 of his 74 NHL career games. He amassed a goal and six assists in his NHL career.  His name was engraved on the Stanley Cup in 1955, and he also played with the Wings during their Cup title in 1954. But he played professionally through 1972, a 25-year playing career. Much of it was spent in the WHL, where he played throughout the 1960s in Victoria, Seattle and Portland. He spent his last playing season as a player-coach for the EHL's Jersey Devils, then coached the team the following year. A native of Saskatoon, he is 83.
Taj Schaffnit: Defenseman who played 38 games for the Ice in 1999-2000, with four goals and four assists. He was also a key part of the Miron Cup championship team, playing all 15 playoff games. They came at the end of a two-year pro career that saw him play 93 games in the ECHL, WCHL and CHL after graduating from Ohio State in 1998. He has since retired to Columbus, Ohio, where he runs an e-commerce business. A native of Gloucester, Ontario, he is 40.

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