Originally written January 02, 2012 on Red Light District Hockey:

PHILADELPHIA – The first goal of the 2012 Winter Classic was also a 20-year-old rookie’s first NHL goal. Flyers forward Brayden Schenn got the monkey off his back this afternoon when he converted on a rebound chance in the Rangers crease at 12:26 of the second period.

“Scoring in a big game like that is pretty exciting,” Schenn said after a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. “At the same time, would have been nice to win, that would have made the goal even better. I wanted to get the goal for a long time, but you want to do both.”

Before this game, Schenn had zero points and a minus-8 rating in eight games while overcoming injuries. Not only did he finally get a goal, but Schenn had a strong all-around effort from start to finish. There was a sense of relief from him, despite the goal coming in a losing cause.

“Obviously, you want to get that first one,” Schenn said. “I guess it’s over with now, and I can just move on and move forward. It was good to get it.”

Flyers forward Max Talbot added, “It was a matter of time (before he scored). He’s a dangerous player out there, is gifted defensively and plays the game hard. Nobody was really too worried about him; even when he’s not scoring goals he’s a great player.”

Schenn was the main piece of the Mike Richards trade, coming over from Los Angeles in the off-season. Expectations were high, as Schenn’s name was linked to the Calder Trophy discussion all pre-season. His coach hopes this goal and good health can get him on the right track.

“I think the best wish for Brayden for the New Year is health because he’s a talented person that can come in and do some good things for our organization,” Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said. “It was nice to see him get back in the lineup and contribute with his first goal for our organization, especially in a big event.”

Schenn also hopes he can build off of this great effort for the rest of the season.

“This is something I can build on,” he said. “Obviously it was a frustrating first half with a lot of downs, so I’m going to keep building on this and keep improving.”

Photo credit: Getty Images
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