By Adam Brady
Even if Shea Theodore plays in the NHL for 20 more years, chances are he’ll never forget about what happened last night.
The 20-year-old Ducks defenseman scored his first NHL goal (in his eighth career game), and it was a big one. Not only was it a career milestone for the young man, but it put the Ducks ahead in a tight game with Ottawa and opened the floodgates for a three-goal third period for an eventual 4-1 victory.
This morning following practice at Honda Center, the genial Theodore relived the goal and its aftermath. First of all, tell us the goal itself.
My role on the breakout is just to come down the left wing. I just waited for my opportunity, and Getz kind of got the line slowed up. I just got behind the D, got open and shot it. You said last night that you kind of “panicked” after you scored it. What did you mean by that?
I’ve never been much of a planned celebration guy, so after I scored, I just kind of blacked out, threw my arms around. [Laughs] It was just lots of emotion, obviously. Your first goal is a pretty special one, so you just really feel that one through the whole thing. I just had guys coming for a big hug after, and that felt pretty cool. Watch the goalDo you know who grabbed the puck for you?
I don’t know who grabbed the puck. I was being tackled. [Editor's Note: It was Getzlaf.]
It was a big goal for the team as well, so did that mean a little bit more?
| Some other Ducks on Theodore's first goal: |
"It was great. Any time anybody gets their first goal - and a big goal like that - is huge for our group.
"He was flying. We came in, I stopped and Shea kept going into the zone. He made a great play after that. He's played great. He's a really smart kid that finds those holes very well. He's helped our power play tremendously."
"Every time you see that, especially at my age, you think back to when it happened yourself. You enjoy it more when the years go on. When it first happens, you're super excited. You know there's more to come. When you get older, you think about the goals you've scored in your career, and that obviously sticks out."
Head Coach Bruce Boudreau
"You feel so good for him. Most coaches have played, and you think back to how good you felt when your first goal went it.
"What I like more is the bench was elated, and the teammates on the ice were elated. That means you like the guy and you're a close-knit team."
Yeah, to get the game-winner, it was a huge one. I was talking to [Chris] Stewart this morning, and I think he said his first one was the sixth goal in a 6-0 win. To have it have a little more meaning in the game, it was a little more special. What was it like afterward on the bench?
Guys were kind of throwing my helmet around. I think it kind of got punched off my head there coming back to the bench. Thomer [Nate Thompson] came from the entire other side of the bench to give me a hug, so that was nice. Just to get the guys going like that was really good. What happened in the locker room after the game?
I came in here and they got me the puck, so I took a couple pictures with that. The team handed out the firefighter’s helmet [for player of the game] and I gave a little speech. I just said, “Good win, guys.” That was pretty much all I could think of. What did your phone look like?
It blew up a little bit from all my friends and family. Social media is pretty big, so you’ve got a lot on Instagram and Twitter. It was pretty cool. Did you make sure to call your parents?
Yeah, my mom called me, so I talked to them. She was ecstatic. Both she and my dad were very excited. It wasn’t a long conversation because it was pretty late, but I will probably hear from them again today. A lot of friends and family reached out to me, and it was really good to see. Does this feel like the kind of thing you’ll always remember?
For sure. It’s definitely a special moment, just in the momentum swing of the game, having the game-winner. It’s something I won’t forget, for sure. What are you going to do with the puck?
I think they put in on a plaque, make it look nice. It’ll go back home. I have kind of a room back home [in Aldergrove, British Columbia] with some trophies and some plaques from over the years. That will be nice to put up there and kind of add it to the collection.