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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
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 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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