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by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
Information, observations and anecdotes about the Coyotes

as told by Dave Vest, the team's V.P. of News Content

Coyotes center Martin Hanzal wasted little time dedicating his first NHL hat trick to his parents, who just happened to be at Arena on Thursday night and watched it unfold in person. Here’s guessing their long trip back to the Czech Republic on Friday will be a happy one.

“It was amazing,” Hanzal said regarding scoring three goals in the game, within the first 21 minutes no less. “I’ve never scored two goals (in an NHL game) and now I’ve scored a hat trick, so I’m really happy about that and I really enjoyed this game.”

Hanzal, of course, is a defensive-minded forward. Scoring goals isn’t really his job. In fact, he entered the game with only three goals this season and two were empty-netters, a fact that teammate/fellow Czech Republic native Zbynek Michalek often reminded him in good fun. For his NHL career, Hanzal had scored just 11 goals in 96 games before Thursday.

Hanzal's only other hat trick in his life happened when he was playing junior hockey in the Czech Republic.

“That was a really long time ago,” Hanzal said with a smile. “I can’t even remember when it was, to be honest.”

Thursday’s game just might be a turning point for Hanzal, who admits it’s been a challenging season after undergoing back surgery in July.

“But I am 100 percent now and I am feeling good - much, much better than the beginning of the season,” Hanzal said.

Thanks for reading.


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