Former Capital Devante Smith-Pelly made his debut last week for the Ontario Reign. In his third game for the team, DSP was a part of something historic.
Reign head coach John Wroblewski put Smith-Pelly on a line with Akil Thomas and star center Quinton Byfield against the Bakersfield Condors. According to Soul On Ice The Podcast, it marked the first all-Black line in professional hockey since the 1940s.
History being made tonight. Not since the Black Aces have we seen an all-Black line in pro hockey. Herb Carnegie, Ozzie Carnegie & and Manny McIntyre are shining down on @SmithPelly23, @Byfield55 & @AkilThomas tonight. The line already has a goal in the 1st. #History #SoulOnIce pic.twitter.com/ChW5IjfICr
— Soul On Ice The Podcast (@SOIThePodcast) March 21, 2021
Smith-Pelly (1a), Byfield (1g, 1a), and Thomas (3g) combined for six points in the game. Byfield opened the scoring with a goal assisted by Smith-Pelly, his first point with the Kings’ affiliate. Down 4-1, Thomas later took over in the third period, scoring a natural hat trick in 2:43 seconds to force overtime. Later, Thomas scored in the shootout to help the Reign win 5-4 and was named the game’s first star.
A hat trick in the final 3:07 of regulation.
One more in the shootout.
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) March 22, 2021
Here is the scoring summary via the AHL:
Smith-Pelly seemed especially proud of the three men’s accomplishment, taking to his Instagram Story to tag his teammates.
It marked the first time three Black players skated on a line in a professional game since Herb Carnegie, his brother Ossie, and Manny McIntyre played as the Black Aces line for various teams in the 1940s in Quebec.
Founding Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe once said Herb Carnegie was good enough to have played for the team if he were white. Carnegie was never given an opportunity to play in the NHL and spent much of his life fighting racism through education. A charity in his name, the Herb Carnegie Future Aces Foundation, works to foster self-esteem and ethical behaviour.
During his time in DC, Smith-Pelly became a hero to Caps fans in 2018 after scoring 7 goals in the postseason and helping lead the team to its first Stanley Cup. But DSP also became beloved to many in the community when he spoke out against racist fans, skipped the Capitals White House, and donated time to the Fort Dupont Cannons – the oldest minority hockey program in the country.
Meanwhile, Byfield and Thomas are two of the Kings’ top prospects. Byfield was also the highest drafted mixed-race player in NHL history after he went second overall in the 2020 NHL Draft.
— Soul On Ice Movie (@soulonicemovie) March 21, 2021
Headline photo: bio photos from TheAHL.com
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.