View Full Version : Desperate Ducks come out flying

tlr online
08-06-03, 04:04
One loss away from having their Stanley Cup title hopes snuffed out by New Jersey, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks came out with fresh determination in Game 6. By the time 16 minutes had passed, they had scored three times on their way to a 5-2 victory over the Devils that tied the series 3-3.

"We know our season is on the line," Anaheim's Mike Leclerc said after the first-period outburst against New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur. "We know what's at stake. The guys want it real bad. We're going to do whatever it takes."

The resilient Ducks, who already had overcome a 2-0 series deficit, bounced back after what could have been a disheartening loss in Game 5, when the Devils beat them 6-3 in New Jersey. Now the surprising Ducks, who had never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs until this year, go back to New Jersey for Game 7. The Devils have won all three of the Cup finals games at home.

The Ducks, the seventh-seeded team in the Western Conference headed into the playoffs, won the three Cup finals games on their home ice. Two longtime Ducks helped them take early command in Game 6. Steve Rucchin, who made his NHL debut for Anaheim in the 1994-95 season, the Ducks' second in the league, opened the scoring 4:26 into the game when his shot deflected off New Jersey defenseman Scott Stevens and past Brodeur.

Rucchin, who had just cleared the puck out of the Ducks' crease moments earlier, made it 2-0 at 13:42 of the period when he wristed a shot into the net from the bottom of the right circle. Team captain Paul Kariya, who also joined the Ducks during the 1994-95 season, assisted on Rucchin's first goal and added another assist on Steve Thomas' score that gave Anaheim a three-goal pad at 15:59.

Kariya, who had only one point through the first five games of the Cup finals, added his first goal of the series in the second period - after he had been knocked out by a hit from Stevens. The only star on the Ducks, Kariya has said for years that he is determined to win a Stanley Cup, and to do it with Anaheim. The Ducks hadn't even been to the playoffs since 1999.

In the third period against the Devils, the big screen at the Pond flashed pictures of a mascot involved in another Game 6 win last fall - a Rally Monkey, wearing Ducks' gear rather than the usual Anaheim Angels' outfit. The long shot Angels beat San Francisco in Game 6 last year, then came back to win Game 7 to take their first World Series title in the 41-year history of the franchise.


Copyright 2003 Yahoo!

08-06-03, 14:47
Did one of the players get knocked out? Was it one of the goal tenders?