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We Asked the Ducks: What Memories Do You Have From Your First NHL Game?

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
From the pages of Ducks Digest during the 2011-12 season, here is a look at what several players remember from their first NHL game.

Ryan Getzlaf (Oct. 5, 2005)
My first game was in Chicago. It was a lot of fun and a little nerve-wrecking at the start. It didn’t take long to settle in. Overall, it was pretty exciting day and we won.

Bobby Ryan (Sept. 29, 2007)
It was at the O2 Arena in London. The game was incredible and I scored my first goal. The fans were great. It was against the Kings, so those are always good rivalry games.

Jonas Hiller (Sept. 30, 2007)
It was the second game in London and we won 4-1. At that time, I was just focusing in on playing well. A lot of people back home in Switzerland were able to see it on TV. My family was at the game. I was a big dream of mine when I was kid.

Luca Sbisa (Oct. 11, 2008)
I was 18 years old and with the Flyers. We played the New York Rangers at home in Philadelphia. My family was in town. My former billets from junior hockey were there. It was a really special moment because I wasn’t expected at all to make the team. I remember that day pretty good. I was really nervous in the morning and afternoon. But at the game, things slowed a bit. It gave me big shivers standing in the tunnel. It was the home opener too, so that gave me an extra kick. It was something I will never forget.

Matt Beleskey (Jan. 9, 2009)
I was playing in Iowa and I did the pre-game skate there. Then, I got the call just after I had eaten lunch. I flew here and got an escort to Honda Center. I showed up after the warm-up. I had a banana and a PowerBar and out I went for a game against Tampa Bay. It was a great story for a first game and a fun experience.

Brandon McMillan (Nov. 21, 2010)
We played Edmonton and I didn’t really nap because I was so excited to play. I had a really good chance to score in my first shift. I got to play with Getzlaf and Perry for the first period. I had a really good experience. The guys helped out so much in calming me down and telling me to play my game.  

Devante Smith-Pelly (Oct. 7, 2011)
It was real nerve-wrecking and a lot different than the preseason games that I played in before. Not many people get to play their first game overseas. Once you get into the game, it’s amazing. It was a great experience.
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