McTavish, 18, scores in NHL debut as Ducks beat Jets 4-1
ANAHEIM (AP) — Mason McTavish became the youngest goal scorer in Anaheim history in just 4 hours.
The 18-year-old McTavish scored less than 14 minutes into his NHL debut as the Ducks opened the season with a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night.
” “I couldn’t have wished it any better,” McTavish said. He was the third overall pick this year in the NHL draft. “Obviously with the win, and the goal it was definitely one that I won’t forget.”
McTavish was informed during morning skate that he wouldn’t be wearing a suit. However, those plans were changed three hours before the faceoff when Dallas Eakins called McTavish back to Honda Center. Max Jones was unable to attend due to illness.
“He was quick to get over and prepared for the game. That is what I love about being a coach. An 18-year-old kid comes in, he’s hung around long enough to make your opening roster, he gets a little adversity thrown his way and then he has a hell of a night. That’s a real privilege of coaching not only for me but for those other guys in there as well.”
McTavish put in a loose puck 13: 20 into the first period to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead. McTavish gathered the rebound after Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made a save on a shot from Isac Lunestrom.
Originally, the whistle had been blown and officials ruled no goal. However, replay showed that the goal was the culmination of continuous play in which the whistle did not affect the outcome.
” The ref thought he might have blown it too soon. McTavish stated. McTavish said that there was no goalie interference. It was just a matter of hoping .”
. At 18years, 256days old, McTavish exceeded the previous franchise mark by Oleg Tverdovsky (18years, 259days) on February 1, 1995, in Dallas. McTavish is the second-youngest player to score within 15 minutes of his NHL debut in more than 25 years (Columbus’ Nikita Filatov did it on Oct. 17, 2008, vs. Nashville) and the sixth-youngest in NHL history.
McTavish had also an assist on Adam Henrique’s power-play goal in the second period, which extended the Ducks’ lead by 3-1.
McTavish wasn’t sure if playing in such a short time would benefit him.
” I thought that was it for the day. Maybe that was because I didn’t think about it as often. He said, “I don’t know what it was but it was definitely different.”
Kevin Shattenkirk, Rickard Rakell scored for Anaheim. The team has won four consecutive season openers. Jakob Silfverberg and Lundestrom each had two assists and John Gibson made 33 saving ,
. Winnipeg’s goal was scored by Connor with a one-timer from right faceoff circle just four minutes into the second. Hellebuyck stopped 18 attempts.
” I scored there to bring us back to (within), one, and I felt that we were stretching a bit after that. Connor stated that we weren’t supporting our defense or coming up as a team.
Shattenkirk scored Anaheim’s first goal of this season with a wrist shot near the boards from the right wing that Hellebuyck couldn’t see after being screen. After the Jets had taken seven goals, it was Anaheim’s first goal.
Rakell redirecting Jamie Drysdales shot at the point six minutes before the end of the third period marked the first time that the Ducks have scored twice on the powerplay in regulation in 19 month. Anaheim was one of the worst special teams in the league last season, scoring only two goals with the man advantage in just one game. The second goal was scored in overtime against Colorado.
” Our penalty kill earned what it deserved, said Paul Maurice, Winnipeg coach. “There was more danger in our game later on.” Pucks that lifted to the net and got tipped that you expose yourself, too.”
NOTES: McTavish became the third Anaheim player to make his debut in the season opener in his draft year, following Cam Fowler (2010-11) and Chad Kilger (1994-95). Winnipeg’s C Mark Scheifele was suspended for the last game of the four-game suspension that he received last season in the playoffs for hitting on Jake Evans.
UP JETS: The San Jose Sharks will be their next opponent on Saturday.
Ducks will host the Minnesota Wild Friday night.
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