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Stastny's Hat Trick Leads Avs to 4-3 Victory

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Click here to see a photo gallery from tonight's game

How do you avoid talk of the dreaded ‘sophomore jinx’?

Apparently, all you have to do is record a natural hat trick in the first game of your second season.

Paul Stastny did just that, notching his first career hat trick in Colorado’s season-opening 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars Wednesday night at Pepsi Center. Wojtek Wolski scored the Avalanche’s final goal and Andrew Brunette assisted on each of Stastny’s tallies, while Jaroslav Hlinka added a pair of helpers.

“I think anytime you win the opener, get three goals, you can’t complain,” said Stastny. “It doesn’t matter who scores, anyone on this team can chip in. Today I was a little lucky and helped out because we needed all the goals.”

Stastny staked the Avalanche to a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission when his wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle snuck under Dallas netminder Marty Turco’s arm at 18:11.

The forward added his second goal at 1:03 of the middle frame off a feed from Brunette. After Hlinka sent the puck deep into Dallas’ zone, Brunette corralled it behind the goal and slipped a pass to Stastny at the goalmouth to give Colorado a 2-0 advantage.

He then completed the natural hat trick 11:15 into the second period to make it a 3-1 game. During an Avalanche rush, Brunette dropped a feed to Hlinka, who sent a nifty pass across the crease to Stastny for the tap-in.

Stastny’s hat trick was the first during opening night in Avalanche history and the fourth in franchise history…Real Cloutier (Oct. 10, 1979), Dale Hunter (Oct. 4, 1983) and Paul’s father, Peter Stastny (Oct. 6, 1982) are the others to record the feat.
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