It took him a while, but Coquitlam’s Ben Street finally has his first NHL goal.
Street is 31 years-old, and in the eight seasons since he graduated from the University of Wisconsin Badgers in 2010, he’s played a total of 39 NHL games.
And until last Wednesday Street, who was signed to a one-year, $750,000 contract by the Anaheim Ducks in the off-season, had yet to see his name in a game summary as a goal scorer.
In the second period of a game in Anaheim against the Arizona Coyotes, Street picked up a stretch pass just outside the Coyotes’ blue line then wired a wrist shot from the face-off circle that beat goalie Antti Raanta over his right shoulder.
“I looked to see if anyone was with me,” Street said after the game. “And when no one was there, I wasn’t in a great spot to beat him far side. I tried to make him go down a little bit and try to beat him upstairs. That’s how it worked out.”
The goal tied the game 2-2. And while the Ducks went on to suffer their first loss of the season, 3-2, in a shootout, Street told the Orange County Register it was an exciting moment in his career.
“I played a long time and you don’t feel legit until scoring in the NHL,” said the six-foot centreman whose career alighted briefly with four NHL teams— the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and his current employer — but mostly landed him in minor league outposts like Wilkes-Barre, Penn., Abbotsford, Cleveland, San Antonio and Grand Rapids, Mich. In 428 games in the American Hockey League he scored 144 goals.
Street, who was never drafted into the NHL, was the rookie of year in the ECHL in his first season as a pro. In 2014, when he was with the Abbotsford Heat, he was selected to play in the AHL’s annual All-Star Classic.