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ON THIS DAY: Martin's Stanley Cup Final Hat Trick

On May 10, 1973, Pit Martin became the first Blackhawks player to score a hat trick in a Stanley Cup Final game

by Harvey Wittenberg /

Despite losing Blackhawk legend Bobby Hull to the World Hockey Association in the summer of 1972 after his 50-goal season, Chicago won the West Division going into the 1973 playoffs paced by All-Star goalie Tony Esposito and the team's record-pacing M-P-H line of Pit Marttin, Jim Pappin and Dennis Hull.

After dispatching St. Louis and the New York Rangers in the opening rounds, Chicago returned to the Stanley Cup Final against Montreal, seeking revenge for the heart-breaking seven-game series loss in the Cup Final two years earlier.

The Canadiens won the first two on home ice, lost the next at the Stadium, but then behind goalie Ken Dryden shutout the Hawks in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Hawk trio of Martin, Pappin and and Dennis Hull came alive for a 8-7 victory north of the border, bringing game six back to Chicago on May 10th - 47 years ago Sunday.

Martin tried almost single-handed to tie the series by becoming the first Hawk to score a hat trick in a Cup Final that night, and only the second to have a pair of three-goal games in the playoffs. Despite pulling the goalie in the final minute, though, Montreal won, 6-4, to take the series.

When talking about great Blackhawks, Martin's name isn't usually mentioned, but his 11-season Chicago career speaks for itself.

He came to the Hawks in one of the most controversial trades in 1967 after playing in Detroit and Boston. Chicago General Manager Tommy Ivan sent Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield to the Bruins for Martin, Gilles Marotte and goalie Jack Norris.

Martin became the first Blackhawk to win the Masterton Trophy in 1970 for sportsmanship, perseverance and dedication to hockey. He was named an All-Star four years in a row (1971-75) with Chicago and was co-captain with Stan Mikita for two seasons. He had three 30-goal seasons and 243 career Blackhawk goals.

He ranks ninth in all time points with the Chicago and is the only NHL player I know that scored four goals in a game against the Hawks (1966) and four goals with the Hawks (1969) - which came against his first NHL team, Detroit.

He set a team record for the fastest playoff overtime goal - 12 seconds against Pittsburgh in 1972 - which was matched by Martin Havlat in 2009. He got a hat trick in one of the strangest Chicago games in 1970 when Montreal pulled their goalie in the final 11 minutes of regulation while trying to make the playoffs - but all of Martin's were scored with the goalie in the net.

Martin played with six teammates whose jerseys are hanging from the United Center rafters - Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Glenn Hall, Tony Esposito, Keith Magnuson and Pierre Pilote. The only retired Chicago jersey he didn't share the ice with was Denis Savard. 

He is the only NHL player that ever played with Bobby Orr in Chicago and Boston. In his first NHL game with Detroit, he got an assist on a Gordie Howe goal.

Martin centered the M-P-H line that set a Hawk record of 272 points in a season that was broken by Denis Savard, Steve Larmer and Al Secord in 1983.

Despite his hat trick heroics on May 10, 1973, Martin never got the chance to celebrate a Cup with the Hawks. He returned to the very first Blackhawks Convention in July 2008, but tragically passed just a few months later on November 30, 2008.

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