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20 Years Ago Today: Ducks Play First NHL Game

Tuesday, 10.08.2013 / 12:03 PM / News
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20 Years Ago Today: Ducks Play First NHL Game
On this date twenty years ago -- October 8, 1993 -- the Mighty Ducks played their first NHL game, against the Detroit Red Wings at what was then called the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
The opening faceoff from the first game.
On this date twenty years ago -- October 8, 1993 -- the Mighty Ducks played their first NHL game, against the Detroit Red Wings at what was then called the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

The Ducks lost the game, 7-2, but more important than the result that night was the birth of a franchise that would go on to reach great heights. Now in their 20th season, the Anaheim Ducks have made nine playoff appearances, including capturing California's first Stanley Cup title in 2007. What was once the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim is now simply now called the Anaheim Ducks, who now call their home arena Honda Center. The original eggplant and jade uniforms with the cartoonish duck-billed goalie mask has given way to black and gold uniforms with an orange trim, a nod to the team's foundation in Orange County.

Much has changed, but it all started on that fateful first night in front of a energetic and eager sellout crowd of 17,200.

Photos from the first game
Inaugural faceoff
Scoresheet from the game
A list of Ducks "Firsts"

Terry Yake played in that first game and a few games later at Madison Square Garden would record the first hat trick in Ducks history. He said that first night at the Pond was, "nothing short of electric."

"We came here and the expectation was that most people didn't know anything about hockey," recalls Yake, who makes his home in St. Louis now. "And yet they filled the building for us. For a group of misfits, as we called ourselves, to come here and have a whole town fall in love with us was really awesome.

"It was nothing short of electric. The atmosphere was a true production. I remember walking out of the tunnel that night and it was an amazing show."

Guy Hebert, who officially became the first Mighty Ducks player when he was taken in the June 1993 NHL expansion draft, vividly recalls that first day.

"I remember as I drove into the parking lot, it looked like a Saturday college football game," remembers Hebert, now 46 and living in Newport Beach. "It was just mobbed with tailgaters, and I had never seen that in the world of hockey. I pulled up to the parking booth and tried to explain to the lady that I was actually a player and was playing in the game. I told her, ‘I’m a player with the Mighty Ducks. I’m in the game tonight.’ She said, ‘I’m sorry it’s $8 to park.’ I said, ‘I’m with the team.’ It didn’t work and I had to pay the eight bucks to get into the parking lot.

"I think we got outshot in that game pretty handily. I joke with a buddy of mine, Steve King, that he was really the first guy to score on me in Anaheim. There was a shot from the point that he tried to knock down and he ended up deflecting it over my shoulder for that first goal. I’ve never let him live that down."

Humble beginnings have given way to a proud Ducks legacy, 20 years (and counting) in the making.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 65 41 17 7 193 158 89
2 ANA 65 41 17 7 193 178 89
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 64 32 20 12 179 172 76
6 VAN 63 36 24 3 182 173 75
7 MIN 63 34 22 7 179 163 75
8 CGY 63 34 25 4 178 162 72
9 LAK 63 30 21 12 171 164 72
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 DAL 64 28 26 10 199 212 66
12 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
13 ARI 64 20 37 7 139 218 47
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 62 20 41 12 61
C. Perry 50 27 18 15 45
R. Kesler 65 17 23 0 40
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
J. Silfverberg 64 10 20 11 30
P. Maroon 57 7 21 -4 28
H. Lindholm 62 6 22 18 28
C. Fowler 64 5 22 2 27
R. Rakell 54 5 19 4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 30 8 5 .917 2.34
J. Gibson 8 5 0 .920 2.51

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