Anaheim Ducks Tales: A Series Three Sweep Against Minnesota

064497.SP.0516.ducks.AJS––A fan cheers the the Ducks as Anaheim finished a sweep of the Minnesota Wild and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
064497.SP.0516.ducks.AJS––A fan cheers the the Ducks as Anaheim finished a sweep of the Minnesota Wild and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) /

Every team goes through seasons when they have to endure the process of devastation and reform. The Anaheim Ducks are no acceptation to this rule.

Now, while Anaheim takes some time to go through the cognitive process of rebuilding, let’s take a look back at a moment in Anaheim Ducks History. We’re going back to the 2003 season when they were the ones dishing out the sweeping ruination.

The Ducks entered the playoff’s that year placing second in the Pacific Division. They didn’t hesitate when it came to dishing out a plate of cloying retribution on the Detroit Red Wings. Anaheim swept them out of the playoffs faster than the tide at the call of tyrant winds.

They advanced to the second round, facing off against an arduous Dallas Stars team. The first two games, won by the Ducks, were decided in overtime. However, Dallas gave the Ducks a run for their money and went on to win games three and five. Though more challenging than round one, Sandis Ozolinsh went on to score the game-winning goal in period three, clinching the Ducks the second round in Game Six.

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With their win in game six, the Anaheim Ducks would see another franchise first. They were moving on to the Conference Finals against the Minnesota Wild.

 A Never Ending Game

May 10th, 2003, the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild took center ice at the Xcel Energy Center. As the puck dropped and the game commenced, it was clear that the Ducks were facing an exhausted Minnesota team. After eliminating Vancouver in the Conference Semi-Finals, the team had just two days to rest up before facing off against the Ducks.

Though Minnesota seemed spent, the Ducks were lacking drive. This was the first Conference Final in team history, it was no wonder they were playing with such timidity.

The only area the Ducks didn’t seem to be putting up a lackluster effort was with penalties. They took six penalties during the game. However, though Minnesota was given five power-play opportunities, they could not make it past the Ducks brick wall, goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

The game was uneventful in the first three periods which ended with no score. After the first overtime was met with the same effort or lack of scoring, the game was sent into a second overtime.

The First Step to Victory

Filip Kuba lost the puck in the neutral zone, giving Mike Leclerc the opportunity to pick it up. As he tore off towards the net, Lubomir Sekeras skated after him.

Sekeras committed all of his attention to Leclerc, and Petr Sykora was left wide open. Leclerc saw his opportunity and took it, sliding the puck towards his teammate. 8:06 into the second overtime, Sykora fed the puck into the net, winning the game for Anaheim.

One Goal Wonder

Giguere and the Anaheim Ducks had successfully shut-out Minnesota in games one through three. For the first time in franchise history, it looked like the Ducks were headed to the Stanley Cup Final. With one game left in the series, they were determined to carry on their shut-out streak into game four.

However, during the Ruslan Salei minor, at 4:37 the Wild would score a power-play goal; their first goal of the series.

Their first goal may have looked like a small light at the end of a very dark tunnel for Minnesota. However, with two power-play goals from Adam Oates, the Ducks went on to win the game 2-1. The Ducks had almost been successful in a shut-out sweep. However, there was still much reason to celebrate. The Ducks were, for the first time, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.

Close, but No Cigar (eh, I mean Stanley Cup…)

The Anaheim Ducks advancement to the Stanley Cup Final pitted them against the New Jersey Devils.

It was a close series. Uncertainty encompassed Anaheim and Ducks Nation when the Devils shut them out in games one and two. However, the Ducks didn’t lose their fire and came back to win games three, four, and six.

The series was tied up at three games each. There was one final opportunity in the series for the Ducks to lift the coveted Stanley Cup. However, the Devil’s came back from Anaheim and reared their ugly horns.

Next: Monthly Mailbag - April 2018

The Ducks lost game seven in a devastating 3-0 shut-out.