On Saturday, February 9, Sharks forward Kevin Labanc scored his first career hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Labanc's first goal was also the first goal of the game. Joe Thornton and Marcus Sorensen passed the puck back and forth between each other as the Sharks broke out of their defensive zone. Eventually, Joe Thornton had the puck in the offensive zone, and then passed the puck over to Kevin Labanc, who was at the top of a face-off circle. Labanc fired a wrist shot past the Edmonton goalie, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
Video: SJS@EDM: Labanc pots a quick shot from the circle
The second goal of the trick was on the man advantage. Evander Kane took the puck from Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and then tried to pass the puck to Tomas Hertl who was planted at the top of the goal crease. The puck hit off Hertl's skate and went directly to Labanc. Labanc gathered the puck, waited, and then ripped a shot upstairs to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead.
Video: SJS@EDM: Labanc roofs power-play goal for his second
After the second goal, it seemed almost inevitable that Labanc would get his third - Labanc and his line mates Thornton and Sorensen were clicking, and there was still a lot of time left.
And in the third period, it happened.
Brenden Dillon stole the puck at the Sharks blue line, then gave the puck over to Joe Thornton. Thornton and Labanc headed into the offensive zone, and then Thornton passed the puck to Labanc at the top of the face-off circles. Labanc fired the wrister immediately, beating the goaltender and giving the young Sharks forward his first NHL hat trick.
Video: SJS@EDM: Labanc picks up hat trick on Thornton's feed
As mentioned before, this was Labanc's first career hat trick. He also became the youngest member of the San Jose Sharks to score a hat trick on the road since Marco Sturm did so in 1998.
Another cool bit of history: Joe Thornton's assist on the hat trick goal was Thornton's 1,049th assist of his career. That is tied with Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe, for 9th on the NHL's all-time assists list.