20 Years Ago Today: Ducks Play First NHL Game

Tuesday, 10.8.2013 / 9:03 AM PT / 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.

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 74 24 44 14 68
C. Perry 62 32 20 16 52
R. Kesler 77 19 27 -4 46
S. Vatanen 62 12 25 6 37
J. Silfverberg 76 12 23 12 35
P. Maroon 68 9 25 -3 34
C. Fowler 75 7 27 5 34
J. Wisniewski 65 8 25 -14 33
H. Lindholm 73 7 26 22 33
M. Beleskey 63 22 10 15 32
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 33 11 5 .914 2.40
J. Gibson 12 7 0 .914 2.65

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