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Vaulted: Acciari Makes History with Back-to-Back Hat Tricks

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop /

Welcome to "Vaulted," a new series in which we take a look back a moments that are worthy of being enshrined within the Florida Panthers Virtual Vault, which is presented by Baptist Health.

What is in those cookies?!

Earning the nickname "Cookie" due his pre-game routine that revolves around throwing back more than a few Oreos, Noel Acciari briefly captured the attention of the entire NHL when he managed to register back-to-back hat tricks for the Florida Panthers on Dec. 16 and 20, 2019.

"I'm just so happy for him," Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau said of Acciari's incredible achievement. "He works so hard. To get two hat tricks, it's really impressive. I don't even have one yet. It's nice for him to get two in a row."

Joining the Panthers on a three-year contract prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, Acciari was moved up from the team's fourth line to join Huberdeau on the second line prior to netting the first hat trick of his career in a 6-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at BB&T Center on Dec. 16.

Prior to that game, Acciari had never recorded a multi-goal game in his NHL career.

"Those guys are very skilled guys," Acciari said of his new linemates. "It's fun to play with them. Just get to the net and good things happen. Those guys found me in the right spots. Overall, I think it was a good team game, a full 60 minutes. We've just got to kind of build off of that."

For his second hat trick, Acciari went into turbo-mode.

Setting a franchise record by scoring all three goals within a span of just 3:59, Acciari's second straight hat trick helped guide the Cats to a 7-4 win over the Dallas Stars on Dec. 20 in Sunrise.

And while all three goals were nice, the third had some added drama.

Awarded the first penalty shot of his career at 11:25 of the second period, he slipped a shot through goalie Anton Khudobin's five-hole to secure the hat trick and up Florida's lead to 7-1.

"The whole bench was pretty excited about it," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said of the shot. "I'm glad they awarded him the penalty shot. It was fun for everybody knowing that he's got the magic touch right now. I think everybody in the whole building was happy for him."

[The Vault: Acciari secures second hat trick on penalty shot] 

Acciari is just the second player in franchise history to register hat tricks in consecutive games, joining Hall of Famer Pavel Bure, who accomplished the amazing feat back in February of 2001.

And for his efforts, the 28-year-old captured a pair of awards, winning the both the NHL's "First Star of the Week" and the NHLPA's "Player of the Week" for the week ending Dec. 22, 2019.

In his first season with Florida, Acciari had set new career-high with 20 goals before the NHL paused its season. Over his four previous season, he'd posted just 18 goals in 180 contests.

"I think I've had a great opportunity here playing with some different guys," Acciari said. "I couldn't have done it without those guys. It's been a good year so far, but the main goal is the playoffs still. It doesn't matter how well you do [personally], the main goal is to get there."

Want to explore the Panthers Virtual Vault? Click HERE to visit! 

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