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Bennett honoured to net NHL Second Star honours

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames rookie Sam Bennett had quite a week.

The NHL didn’t disagree.

Bennett was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week after scoring six goals in three games.

“It’s definitely a huge honour,” Bennett said. “I mean, there’s so many great players in this league and to be announced as one of the stars of the week is definitely really nice to be recognized. I’m really proud of that.”

Well deserved, according to coach Bob Hartley.

“Sammy was real good,” Hartley said. “Really, really good. He played as well as he was playing before in the three zones, and got rewarded. You can see. He’s a kid. He found the candy bag, got one, got four, and right now he’s digging in with a shovel. I have no problem with this.”

First, the monkey came off his back.

Bennett started his week by scoring in a 5-4 loss against the San Jose Sharks on Monday, snapping an 18-game goalless, and 10-game pointless, drought.

Then, he exploded.

The 19-year-old went off for four goals -- including a first-period hat trick -- in a 6-0 win against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.

He became the youngest player in Flames history to score a hat trick, at 19 years, 207 days, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Bennett also became the sixth rookie in Flames history with a hat trick, joining Joe Nieuwendyk, Brett Hull, Matthew Lombardi, Josh Jooris and Johnny Gaudreau.

There’s more.

His first-period hat trick was the first in the NHL since Jan. 18, 2014, when Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis scored three of his four goals in a game against the San Jose Sharks, and first from a Calgary skater since Jarome Iginla against the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 23, 2003. It was the fourth ever from a Flames rookie; Nieuwendyk did it twice, and Jiri Hrdina once.

Bennett was the third-youngest in NHL history to score four goals in a single game behind Jack Hamilton of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1943-44 and Bobby Carpenter of the Washington Capitals in 1981-82, according to Elias. Both were 18.

Benentt finished his week with Calgary’s lone goal in a 2-1 shootout loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. It’s pushed his scoring streak to three games.

“You can see whenever he gets the puck now he’s a threat,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “Dangerous. Just that goal, that’s what a goal does sometimes. It just turns it. I just feel like he’s getting rewarded for months of hard work.”

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