Sunday, May 4, 2014

This day in Indianapolis hockey history: May 4

Today's trip back in time sees the Ice clinch a spot in the USHL final four in 2007, Jim Waite making a 12-save shutout in 1990, and the Checkers emphatically clinching a back-to-back title in 1983. Also, birthdays for former Racers Steve Richardson and Dave Morrow, Checker Greg Evtushevski, CHL Ice Joe Gunther and USHL Ice Corey Fienhage. 

May 4 in Indianapolis hockey history 
2007: The Ice clinch a spot in the USHL final four in the league’s unusual one-year postseason experiment, beating Cedar Rapids 4-3 in the second game of a three-team round-robin, sweeping the series. John Kemp scored twice, but Garrett Roe’s third assist of the day – feedng Jake Skjodt with 3:40 left – sealed the victory. Alex Kangas stopped 39 Rough Riders shots. 
1990: Jim Waite is barely tested, stopping just 12 shots to register a shutout as the Ice beat Salt Lake 2-0 at the Coliseum to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 series. Jari Torkki and Mike Rucinski score power play goals 1:16 apart in the first period to give the Ice the only offense they would need. The Ice go 2-10 on the power play in the game and outshoot the Golden Eagles 34-12.  
1983: The Checkers clinch back-to-back championships, routing the Birmingham South Stars 7-2 in the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, winning the best-of-9 series five games to two. The Checkers trail 1-0 after a period, but Kevin Devine ties the game 57 seconds into the second on a feed from Gord Dineen. Dineen assists on Dave Simpson's go-ahead goal at 9:04 of the period on a power play, and Glen Duncan tallies a natural hat trick to make it a 5-1 count. Duncan and Red Laurence score 37 seconds apart in the third period, and Scott Howson's 12th postseason goal puts the icing on the cake with 11 seconds left. Dineen finishes the night with three assists, Laurence and Howson a goal and an assist each, and Ron Handy two assists. Kelly Hrudey stops 16 of the 18 shots he faces. Bruce Affleck is named playoff MVP.

Happy birthday to ... 
Steve Richardson: Defenseman who played 19 games with the Racers in the 1974-75 season. He had a goal and four assists. He played 72 games in the WHA between 1974-76 for the Racers, Michigan Stags and New England Whalers, as part of a four-year pro career in North America. A native of Olds, Alberta, he is 65. 
Dave Morrow: Defenseman who played 10 games for the Racers in their short-lived 1978 season. He had two goals and 10 assists. They would be the lone NHL/WHA games the 1977 Canucks fourth-round/Stingers second-round pick would play. He played three pro seasons, primarily in the CHL and IHL, before retiring shortly into the 1979-80 season. His son, Joe Morrow, is a prospect in the Boston Bruins organization. A native of Edmonton, he is 57.
Greg Evtushevski: Forward who played eight games for the Checkers in 1986-87. He had a goal and six assists. After spending two years in the AHL/IHL, he would go on to a long career in Europe the following season. He was the Devils' seventh-round pick in 1983. A native of St. Paul, Alberta, he is 49.
Joe Guenther: Winger for the Ice in 2003-04, their final CHL season. He had 19 goals and nine assists in 51 games for the Ice. He had five 20-goal seasons in an eight-year pro career that was spent with nine different teams in the ECHL and CHL. He had his best success in Amarillo, where he had three of those 20-goal seasons, including his final year in 2009-10. A native of Buffalo, NY, he is 33.
Corey Fienhage: Defenseman who played 12 games for the Ice at the end of the 2007-08 season. He had a goal and two assists. He went on to play two years collegiately at North Dakota, a junior season in the WHL, and then embarked on a pro career that has taken him through the AHL and ECHL. The Buffalo Sabres' third-round pick in 2008, Fienhage is currently playing for the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears, where he tallied 17 points in 63 games this season. A native of Apple Valley, Minn., he is 24.

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