Saturday, May 17, 2014

This day in Indianapolis hockey history: May 17

May 17 has five birthdays: former Capital Carl Liscombe, Racer Claude Larose, IHL Ice Dan Gauthier and Mike Prokopec, and USHL Ice Brian Keane.

Happy birthday to ...
Carl Liscombe: Left wing who played two seasons for the Capitals from 1939-41, their first two years. He had 12 goals and 16 assists for the Caps in 43 games, and also played five postseason games as the Caps won their division and competed in the Calder Cup Playoffs in 1940. Each of those two years, "Big Daddy" split time between Indianapolis and the parent Red Wings, and he became an NHL regular during World War II. He had 14 points in the Red Wings' 1943 Stanley Cup run, and followed it up with a 36-goal season in 1943-44. His last NHL season was 1945-46, and he played several years in the AHL and IHL afterwards. He was the AHL's MVP twice, in 1948 and 1949, scoring 50 goals and 100+ points each season with the Providence Reds. His 1947-48 season, in which he tallied 118 points, set a pro hockey record. He had 137 goals and 277 points in 383 NHL games between 1937-46. He was the last surviving member of the 1943 Stanley Cup championship team. A native of Perth, Ontario, he was born in 1915. He passed away in 2004.
Claude Larose: Racers left wing in their final two seasons, from the spring of 1978 through the team's demise in December 1978. He had 19 goals and 24 assists in 41 games for the Racers. He joined the Racers in a deal with Cincinnati during the 1977-78 season. He was the No. 1 pick in the 1975 WHA draft by Cincinnati and immediately broke in with the Stingers. He was also drafted by the New York Rangers that season, and joined their team after the WHA-NHL merger in 1979. Larose played primarily in the minors after 1979-80 before retiring in 1986. He tallied a 120-point season in 1984 with AHL Sherbrooke. He played 277 NHL/WHA games, with 92 goals and 213 points. A native of St. Jean, Quebec, he is 59.
Dan Gauthier: Center who played two seasons for the Ice from 1994-96. He was one of the team's consistent scorers, with 50 goals and 89 assists in 136 games for the Ice. He also got a call to play five games for the Blackhawks in 1994-95, and was dealt to Peoria late in the 1995-96 season. He was drafted in the third round by the Penguins in 1988, broke into pro hockey in 1990 with ECHL Knoxville - where he was the league's Rookie of the Year - and played the next five seasons in the IHL. After he finished the 1995-96 season, he went to Europe and played in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and in the Quebec LNAH before retiring in 2010 at age 39. A native of Charlemagne, Quebec, he is 44. 
Mike Prokopec: Right wing who played three seasons for the Ice from 1994-97. In 194 games, he had 52 goals, 52 assists and 354 PIM. He had a 21-goal season in 1994-95, his first year as a pro. He finished the 1996-97 season with Detroit, and played in the IHL and AHL through 2000. He also played 15 NHL games with the Blackhawks between 1995-97. A native of Toronto, he is 40.
Brian Keane: Forward who played 15 games for the Ice in 2006-07 after being dealt from the Chicago Steel. He had five goals and two assists, as well as three assists in seven playoff games as the Ice made a run to the USHL semis. He went from the Ice to a four-year career at UMass-Amherst, where he had eight goals and 11 points. A native of Shortsville, NY, he is 26.

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