Goals: they’re the deciding factor in every hockey game. Every team has big goals throughout their history, and the Anaheim Ducks are no different.
Since the inaugural 1993 season, we’ve seen the Anaheim Ducks score thousands of goals. Today, we’re going to relive five of the greatest goals in franchise history. These aren’t necessarily the greatest shots ever, but rather some of the most important and more memorable in the Duck’s 25-year history.
5. The Game That Would Not End — Petr Sykora
During the 2003 Stanley Cup run, the Mighty Ducks faced the Dallas Stars in the second round of the playoffs. In the very first game of the series, the Mighty Ducks and Stars battled to a 3-3 tie which forced overtime. Overtime would last a whole game and a half. Finally, 47 seconds into the 5th OT period Petr Sykora would pick up a feed from the corner and score the game-winning goal for the Mighty Ducks and end the longest game in Anaheim Ducks history.
4. Ducks Sweep the Wings — Steve Rucchin
“Here’s Rucchin, Steve Rucchin a little room. Rucchin a shot. Save made Joseph, rebound not centered. In front, Rucchin. SCORE! SCORES! The Mighty Ducks have knocked off the defending Stanley Cup Champions!” That was a call by the illustrious voice of Gary Thorne.
This goal, from Steve Rucchin, was the series-sweeping goal that knocked out the Red Wings in the first round and gave the Ducks a huge shot of momentum as they would go on their seemingly magical run all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals vs the New Jersey Devils. This moment doesn’t quite receive the love and admiration it truly deserves, but that’s because it’s overshadowed by one particular goal that happened that same postseason.
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3. Off the Floor, On the Board — Paul Kariya
You knew it was coming. In the second period of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Paul Kariya took a massive hit from New Jersey Devils captain Scott Stevens. Many of us thought he was done for the series. With less than 3 minutes to go in the period, Paul would make his return to the game.
Kariya would turn on the jets and unleash a powerful slapshot that blew right by Martin Brodeur. Recently during an interview, we learned that the hit made Kariya blackout and he has gone on record saying he has no recollection of anything beyond the hit. He doesn’t remember the goal or Game 7. Now I know what you’re gonna say, “why is this not number one?” We’ve still got two more, so hear me out.
2. Game 7 Curse Breaker — Nick Ritchie
Now I don’t want to remind you all of the past Game 7 failures and I won’t. However, I will say, this goal was big on so many levels. At this point, the Anaheim Ducks had a bad habit of losing home Game 7’s. Admittedly and with good reason I was really nervous for this Game 7 but this one felt different I just couldn’t put my finger on why though.
Edmonton scored first, and as they do I’m thinking, “here we go again.” Then, Andrew Cogliano, of all people, tied the game shortly after. It’s 1-1, and like all of you, I’m on the edge of my seat. I’m nervous. Then it happened. Nick Ritchie broke the tie. Everybody who knows me knows that I’m not a fan of Nick Ritchie but on this night he came up huge and broke the Game 7 curse.
1. The Goal that brought the Stanley Cup to Anaheim — Travis Moen
Raise your hand if you imagined the Anaheim Ducks winning the Stanley Cup off an own-goal by the opposing team. During a routine puck pick up behind the net, Senators defenseman Chris Phillips loses control of the puck and hits Ray Emery‘s skate and slides beyond the line and into the net.
Travis Moen dumped the puck into the Senators and was the last Duck to touch the puck before it went in. The Senators would score one more goal making it 3-2 and Ducks would go on to add to their lead with goals by Francois Beauchemin, Travis Moen, and Corey Perry and the rest is history. No, this one isn’t the greatest or the flashiest one in team history but it is the one that won Anaheim and California it’s first Stanley Cup.
Did your favorite goal make it onto the list? If not, leave us a comment down below or find us on Facebook and Twitter, and let us know about your favorite goal scored by an Anaheim Duck over the past 25 years.