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LAst Night's Action: Ducks Win Home Opener

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Anaheim Ducks defeat Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Things didn’t look right from the start. It was the Canucks, not the Ducks who came into the game leading in penalties and penalty-minutes, who were in the penalty box in the opening minute of the game. In fact less than a minute later the Ducks went on a 5-on-3 man advantage. Something is wrong here. Right as the original penalty expired, Captain Ryan Getzlaf got off the schneid and scored his first goal of the season giving the Ducks their first lead of the season.

Everything seemed to return to normal when Daniel Sedin (3:57) and Raffi Torres (4:14) scored a little more than a minute later to give the Canucks the 2-1 edge. After Teemu Selanne tied the game on a power-play goal 15:09 in the second period, Christian Ehrhoff gave the Canucks the lead once again 5:23 in the third period.

But I guess this is where the comforts of home ice come into play. After Mikael Samuelsson missed a 10-foot wrist shot, the Ducks traveled the length of the ice with Corey Perry tipping in Getzlaf’s shot for the tying goal 8:54 in the third. A takeaway by Bobby Ryan a minute later led to his goal at 10:12 to give the Ducks the lead.

Jonas Hiller saved 36 shots for the Ducks while Roberto Luongo saved 28 for the Canucks.

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NOTABLE NOTES

Dry Celebration. Class and ginger ale might not go hand-in-hand, but that’s exactly what happened Tuesday night in the visitor’s clubhouse at Tropicana Field. After their 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Texas Rangers didn’t want their star slugging outfielder, AL MVP candidate and recovering addict Josh Hamilton to be left out of the celebration as happened when they clinched the AL West on September 25. With all the bubbly and beer being poured in the clubhouse on that day, Hamilton instead chose to stay away from temptation and speak to church groups at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as a part of Faith Day.

But in celebrating the Rangers’ first postseason series victory in franchise history, they made sure to include Hamilton with clubhouse attendants telling him to put on goggles. Hamilton cautiously entered the clubhouse as his teammates armed with bottles of Canada Dry screamed out, “Ginger ale,” and proceeded to douse each other with it.

Eventually the beer and bubbly did emerge as Hamilton exited stage right, but for those few minutes they defined true clubhouse camaraderie.

For a franchise that entered in the 1961 American League expansion as the Washington Senators, this ALDS win was a long time coming. Their first entrance into the postseason came in 1996 where they had their only playoff victory until this season against the New York Yankees. Successive sweeps by the hands of the Yankees in 1998 and 1999 led to another decade-long playoff drought. They are now the final current MLB franchise to win a postseason series. However there are still hurdles to overcome. They still have to win a playoff game at home, and hosting the wild-card Yankees in the ALCS they will need to get that monkey off their back in order to advance to the World Series.

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Golden Bomb. The unlikeliest of players hit the unlikeliest of home runs for the unlikeliest of teams to win the World Series in the unlikeliest of circumstances 50 years ago Wednesday. On October 13, 1960 with the World Series Game 7 tied 9-9 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off home run over Yogi Berra and the 18-foot left field wall to give the Pittsburgh Pirates their first World Series since 1925. Never before and never since has there been a walk-off home run in a Game 7 of a World Series.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

No games.