• RSS

First Flight Field Trip a Rousing Success

Tuesday, 02.19.2008 / 2:43 PM PT / Community
Share with your Friends

First Flight Field Trip a Rousing Success
More than 16,000 students filled Honda Center for the event.

By Matt Vevoda

With the shrieks of more than 16,000 elementary school students cheering on their every move, the Ducks’ Tuesday practice at Honda Center was anything but ordinary.

More First Flight Photos

As part of the seventh annual First Flight Field Trip, students and teachers from more than 115 schools throughout Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties in grades K-8 got a chance to watch the Ducks practice while convening at the arena for an interactive learning program.

Each student was given a workbook, which they filled in during the event.

The Ducks invited Southern California schools to participate in the First Flight event at no cost to the schools or students. During scheduled breaks, players on the ice will interact with the students and reveal answers to the questions in their First Flight workbooks, provided to each student one month before arriving at Honda Center.  Exhibits enabling students to get a closer look at the elements of math in the sport of hockey will be on display before the on-ice program.

“It’s always a responsibility as an organization and as a hockey club to reach out to our young fans,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “It’s an opportunity for some kids to get a morning to come and watch the Ducks practice. It’s not only hockey but education. You can’t lose at these events.”

“It’s pretty crazy to see 16,000 kids all jammed into one arena,” Ryan Getzlaf said. “It’s a different kind of loud too. They’re all screaming and yelling and just having fun. It’s fun for us as well as for the kids.”

While silence normally fills empty stands at Honda Center during a routine team practice, the buzz emanating from students in the seats Tuesday in support of the Ducks was often louder than at games.

“It’s pretty crazy to see 16,000 kids all jammed into one arena,” Ryan Getzlaf said. “It’s a different kind of loud too. They’re all screaming and yelling and just having fun. It’s fun for us as well as for the kids.”

Added George Parros, “It’s a fever pitch out there. I think it’s at that point where it just can’t get anymore louder. It’s pretty ridiculous out there. I’ve never heard the building get louder than these guys.”

After the students were done cheering on the Ducks during their 45-minute practice, the team changed out of their practice jerseys and into their game jerseys to participate in a skills competition. Following a similar format to that of the NHL’s All-Star Weekend, the Ducks (split between two teams – one wearing black home jerseys and the other wearing white road jerseys) tested their abilities in four different events.

Rob Niedermayer was among the four Ducks to compete in the Shooting Accuracy competition.

Defensemen Chris Pronger and Francois Beauchemin of the black team started off the competition by splitting the honors in the Hardest Shot event as each registered shots as 92 miles per hour.

Travis Moen, also of the black team, followed with a win in the Fastest Skater event, as the checking forward raced from the extended goal line to the red line in 5.01 seconds.

While Rob Niedermayer (white team), Scott Niedermayer (black) and Teemu Selanne (white) each hit all four targets in the time allotted in the Shooting Accuracy event, it was the Finnish Flash who did so in the least amount of shots, doing so in five chances.

“It’s always fun to go out there and showcase your skills and have a little fun during practice,” said Parros, who hit three targets during eight chances in the Shooting Accuracy event. “It’s fun to entertain, especially kids, a lot of who play hockey around here. Hockey’s becoming more important around Southern California. It’s really fun to see them get excited about it.”

Chris Kunitz had one of the more impressive moves in the Breakaway Challenge.

Judged by a panel of five guests including Television Color Analyst Brian Hayward, the Breakaway Challenge concluded the competition. Tying for the top score (39) in the event were Regina, Saskatchewan natives and members of the black team Getzlaf and Chris Kunitz. In winning the event for the black team, Kunitz had one of the most impressive moves, skating toward the net while flip-flopping the puck atop his stick about chest high, before spinning and taking a shot that unfortunately missed the net. Later Getzlaf picked the puck up behind the net, came around the post and stuffed it in there for his high score.

“I think it’s grown every year, so it’s great,” said Getzlaf of the First Flight Field Trip, which sold out for the first time this year. “I’m happy I’ve been able to be part of the last few.”




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
F. Andersen 22 9 7 .919 2.30
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07

AnaheimDucks.com is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and AnaheimDucks.com are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy     Contact Us    Jobs     Honda Center    Corporate Partnerships   Terms of Use   NHL TicketExchange  Site Map AdChoices