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Capitals' Walker becomes first Australian to play in NHL
October 8, 2017 / 2:29 AM / in a month

Capitals' Walker becomes first Australian to play in NHL

(Reuters) - Washington forward Nathan Walker became the first Australian to play in the NHL on Saturday and marked the occasion by scoring a goal as the Capitals beat the Montreal Canadians 6-1.

Oct 7, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Nathan Walker (79) skates with the puck as Montreal Canadiens defenseman Victor Mete (53) defends during the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The 23-year-old, who was on the ice for more than 11 minutes, was credited with his team’s final goal of the game late in the second period after it had originally been given to Devante Smith-Pelly.

A group of Walker’s family members cheered wildly and waved an Australian flag when it was announced he had been credited with the goal.

Walker, the first Australian to be drafted into the league in 2014, spent four seasons in the American Hockey League.

Prior to his debut on Saturday, Australian NBA athletes Matthew Dellavedova, Andrew Bogut and Thon Maker, along with Major League Baseball’s Grant Balfour, offered their congratulations.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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