Reid Boucher used a hat trick to rewrite the Sarnia Sting's record books.
Boucher notched his fifth trick of the season on Saturday, reaching 60 goals and shattering Steven Stamkos' single-season team record of 58.
Boucher netted all three in the second period and buried the record-breaker on a breakaway. Sarnia (OHL) edged Saginaw, 8-7, to snap a two-game slide.
“I’m relieved more than anything else,” Boucher told SarniaSting.com. “I’ve been getting a lot of heat lately for not scoring in the last two games. I’m pretty happy.”
As for goal No. 59, Boucher added, “Scoring the record-breaking goal on a breakaway was pretty cool. I’m probably going to have a couple of bumps and bruises because I fell down after the puck went in.”
Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu thinks Boucher's record will be safe for awhile, whatever the final total ends up being. Far from done, Boucher and the Sting still have five games remaining.
“It’s great to see him achieve what he did tonight," Beaulieu told the Sting's official website. "What did it take, five or six years to break Stamkos’ record? It could take 10 years to break the new record. This is a credit to Reid. He worked hard over the summer, shed 20 pounds and got stronger. His hard work has paid off.”
Boucher, the Devils' fourth-round selection, 99th overall, in 2011, becomes the first OHL player in five seasons to score 60 goals. Brett MacLean was the last to do it, collecting 61 for Oshawa in 2007-08, the same season Stamkos established Sarnia's mark.
Nearly a third of Boucher's goals came during a torrid February that saw him light the lamp 17 times in 13 games. His 21-point month included a season-high four-goal, six-point performance on Feb. 22.
Boucher has 16 multi-goal games this season, including two four-goal and three three-goal efforts.
The Lansing, Mich., native has 15 more goals than anyone else in the OHL. He leads the league in power-play markers (21) and game winners (10), and ranks fifth overall with 91 points.
Sarnia is back in action Friday versus London.