Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This day in Indianapolis hockey history: June 17

Seven birthdays today: Racers Dave Fortier and Al McLeod, IHL Ice Jeff Sirkka and Andrei Kozyrev, CHL Ice Eric Soltys and USHL Ice Jason Bourgea. Also, we honor the late Mark Teevens, a 30-goal scorer with the Ice in 1988-89.

Happy birthday to
Dave Fortier: Bruising defenseman who played 54 games for the Racers in 1977-78. He had one goal and 15 assists to go along with 86 PIM. He was the Maple Leafs' second-round pick in 1971 and played 205 NHL games with the Leafs, Islanders and Canucks between 1972-77, before joining the Racers the following year. He retired after a partial 1978-79 season in the minor leagues. A native of Sudbury, Ont., he is 63
Al McLeod: Defenseman who played 25 games for the Racers in their aborted 1978-79 season. Hehad 11 assists in those games, the final ones of his six-year NHL/WHA career. He broke in with the Detroit Red Wings in 1973-74, then jumped to the WHA and played three seasons with Phoenix and two with Houston before joining the Racers. He played 368 NHL/WHA games, with 17 goals and 95 assists. A native of Medicine Hat, Alberta, he is 65.
Mark Teevens: Right wing who scored 30 goals for the Ice in 1988-89. He also had 22 assists in those 78 games. Teevens was the Penguins' fourth-round pick in 1984, and played three minor-league seasons in North America -- in AHL Baltimore, IHL Muskegon and Indianapolis -- before having a successful career in Germany. He was one of five 30-goal scorers on the 1988-89 Ice. He passed away unexpectedly in 1998 at age 31. A native of Ottawa, he was born in 1966.
Jeff Sirkka: Defenseman for the Ice from 1990-92. In 140 games with the Ice, he had nine goals and 29 assists, as well as 349 penalty minutes. He joined the Ice after an AHL season in Maine and Binghamton. After his two years in Indy, he continued to play in the AHL, IHL, ECHL and WCHL through 2002. He is currently based in Denver, where he has served as an assistant coach with the CHL's Denver Cutthroats. A native of Sudbury, Ont., he is 46.
Andrei Kozyrev: Ice defenseman from 1997-99. He played 74 games for the Ice, with a goal and three assists, as well as 109 penalty minutes. He was the Blackhawks' ninth-round pick in 1996. He played just those two seasons in North America -- also playing three games in the ECHL in 1998-99 -- before returning to Russia for a career that spanned 1993-2008. He is currently coaching junior hockey in Russia. A native of Tomsk, Russia, he is 41.
Eric Soltys: Goaltender who played one game for the Ice in the 1999-2000 season, allowing three goals in 27 minutes in relief of Benoit Thibert. It was one of five pro games for Soltys, who also played four games in the WPHL in 1996-97. He has since been a coach, including a head coach for SPHL Huntsville. He is currently the head coach of the Selects Academy team in South Kent, Ct. A native of Needham, Mass., he is 39.
Jason Bourgea: Forward for the Ice in the 2008-09 season. He had nine goals and 21 assists in 50 games, and also had two assists in the team's Clark Cup championship run. He went from the Ice to a four-year career at Dartmouth, which wrapped up in 2013. He is currently a financial analyst in his hometown. A native of South Burlington, Vermont, he is 25.

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