The most important fact of Jonathan Cheechoo’s hat trick in San Jose’s 6-4 victory against Anaheim was that he scored the game-winning goal. It appeared to be a simple insurance tally to make the game 5-3, but a late empty net tally by the Ducks showed how important Cheechoo’s final blast was.
“I’ve been scoring, but not many game-winners, so it was nice to get one” said Cheechoo. “I got one like that on him in the minors as well. He (Ilya Bryzgalov) made himself skinny on the shot.”
The goal that started the night for Cheechoo was not what he would call an all-time highlight. Set up to the far right side of the Anaheim net, Cheechoo was set to unleash one of his patented one-timers, only he didn’t quite get the entire puck. Instead, the puck moved at a fraction of the intended pace. However, it fooled Bryzgalov enough and squeezed between the netminder's skate and the goal post.
“If you get the shot on net, anything can happen,” said Cheechoo.
The second tally was set up in the same manner, but this time Cheechoo got all of it.
“It was a nice pass by Niko (Dimitrakos),” said Cheechoo. “He faked everyone out and put the pass where I could get it off quick.”
The Moose Factory, Ontario native came close to an empty net tally that would have been his fourth goal of the game and tied a club record set by Owen Nolan (that game also occurred in Anaheim), but the two defenders on him were not about to let him get off a solid shot.
“They were on me, but it got the puck deep,” said Cheechoo.
Cheechoo now holds the Sharks record for most hat tricks in a season with three. He is also tied with Nolan and Rob Gaudreau (whose club record 12-game point streak Cheechoo recently tied) for most career hat tricks.
Cheechoo was not too concerned with personal marks afterwards.
“We got the win and that is what counts,” said Cheechoo.