10th: Valicevic posts first hat trick in franchise history
/ Nashville Predators
November 10, 1999
In a routine early-season division game at the United Center in Chicago, one of the most unlikely Predators made history by notching the franchise’s first hat trick. In just an 11:12 span in the opening period, Rob Valicevic turned the trick by beating Blackhawk starter Jocelyn Thibault first, then his backup Steve Passmore two more times.
“To this day it is still surreal,” Valicevic said when reflecting on the game. “It happened so fast, that oddly enough, it still hasn’t sunk in. In a matter of three shifts there were three goals. I was playing with Greg Johnson and Ville Peltonen at the time, and I can still see that third goal going in. It was quite an honor to be a part of the whole history-making process.”
The trio of goals in just more than 11 minutes served as the fastest three markers by an individual for more than seven seasons until Steve Sullivan scored three in 5:56 last December against Ottawa. In that span, nine other Predator hat tricks were tallied.
“I guess the highlight of my career there was the hat trick in Chicago,” Valicevic said. “To this day I still can’t believe it happened.”