In the span of 4 hours, Mason McTavish went from being a gameday scratch to changing into the youngest participant in Anaheim historical past to attain a purpose.
The 18-year-old McTavish scored lower than 14 minutes into his NHL debut as the Ducks opened the season with a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday evening.
“I definitely couldn’t have dreamed it any better, to be honest with you,” mentioned McTavish, the third general decide in this yr’s NHL draft. “Obviously with the win and the goal, it was definitely one I’ll never forget.”
McTavish was advised in the course of the morning skate that he wouldn’t be suiting up. But these plans modified 3 hours earlier than faceoff when coach Dallas Eakins known as him rapidly again to Honda Center after Max Jones could not go as a result of sickness.
“He got right over, prepared and played a hell of a game,” Eakins mentioned. “I gotta tell you, that is the fun part of 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 free puck 13:20 into the primary interval to present Anaheim a 2-0 lead. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made a pad save on a shot by Isac Lundestrom, however McTavish gathered in the rebound.
Officials initially dominated no purpose as a result of the whistle had blown, however replay overturned it as the end result of a steady play the place the consequence was unaffected by the whistle.
“I knew it was a good goal, but the ref was saying he might have blown the whistle too early,” McTavish mentioned. “There was no goalie interference or anything like that. So it was just kind of hoping.”
At 18 years, 256 days outdated, McTavish surpassed the earlier franchise mark set by Oleg Tverdovsky (18 years, 259 days) on Feb. 1, 1995, at Dallas. McTavish is the second-youngest participant to attain inside quarter-hour of his NHL debut in greater than 25 years (Columbus’ Nikita Filatov did it on Oct. 17, 2008, vs. Nashville) and the sixth-youngest in NHL historical past.
McTavish additionally had an help on Adam Henrique’s power-play purpose in the course of the second interval that prolonged the Ducks’ result in 3-1.
With two factors in his debut, McTavish was uncertain if taking part in on quick discover ended up benefiting him.
“I kind of thought I was done for the day. I guess I just didn’t think about it as much, so maybe that helped. I don’t know, but definitely it was a little bit different,” he mentioned.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Rickard Rakell additionally scored for Anaheim, which has gained 4 of its final 5 season openers. Lundestrom and Jakob Silfverberg each had two assists, and John Gibson made 33 saves,
Kyle Connor scored Winnipeg’s purpose with a one-timer from the suitable faceoff circle lower than 4 minutes into the second. Hellebuyck stopped 18 photographs.
“I scored there to get us back to (within) one and I felt we were just stretching a little bit too much after that. We weren’t supporting our defense and coming up as a unit,” Connor mentioned.
Shattenkirk scored Anaheim’s first purpose of the season with a wrist shot from the suitable wing close to the boards that Hellebuyck was unable to see after being screened. It was Anaheim’s first shot on purpose after the Jets took the primary seven.
Rakell’s redirect of Jamie Drysdale’s shot from the purpose six minutes into the third interval marked the primary time in 19 months the Ducks scored twice on the facility play in regulation. Anaheim had the league’s worst particular groups final season and had just one sport when it scored two targets with the person benefit. That second rating, although, was in extra time in opposition to Colorado.
“Our penalty kill got what we deserved,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice mentioned. “There was more dangerous stuff later in the game in our end. Pucks that lifted to the net and got tipped that you expose yourself, too.”
NOTES: McTavish grew to become the third Anaheim participant to make his debut in the season opener in his draft yr, following Cam Fowler (2010-11) and Chad Kilger (1994-95). … Winnipeg C Mark Scheifele served the ultimate sport of a four-game suspension he acquired in the playoffs final season for his hit on Montreal’s Jake Evans.
Jets: Continue their season-opening, three-game highway journey Saturday in opposition to the San Jose Sharks.
Ducks: Host the Minnesota Wild on Friday evening.
Credits : foxnews