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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 4, Maple Leafs 3

Minnesota rallies from early deficit, starts trip with win Thursday in Toronto

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 4-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Thursday afternoon:

1. Don't call it a comeback. OK, call it a comeback ... and a dandy one at that.

Minnesota overcame the worst start possible: The Wild was trailing just seven seconds into the game on a ridiculous backhanded shot by Mitch Marner, the fastest goal allowed to start a game in franchise history. 

Marner scored his second of the game 5:31 later, and the Wild was down a pair of goals early.

But there was plenty of hockey left to be played.

Charlie Coyle scooped up a loose puck midway through the first and scored past Michael Hutchinson to get the Wild back in the game. 

Video: MIN@TOR: Coyle roofs a loose puck from the slot

Then Mikko Koivu evened the game 5:09 into the second period, roofing a shot just moments after Eric Staal had hit the post.

Video: MIN@TOR: Koivu lifts shot past a sprawling Hutchinson

Toronto took a quick 3-2 lead, but Jared Spurgeon tied it again 80 seconds later, sending the game into the second intermission tied at 3.

In the third period, it was Zach Parise scoring his 18th of the season from Coyle following a turnover, giving Minnesota its first lead of the afternoon. 

Video: MIN@TOR: Parise roofs Coyle's feed to put Wild ahead

Major props to the Wild's penalty kill, which went 4-for-4 on the day, including a pair of monster kills in the third period. 

It was a heck of a way for the Wild to begin a crucial four-game road trip against Eastern Conference foes, a trip that continues on Saturday in Ottawa.

2. Jared Spurgeon posted a three-point afternoon.

All day long, Spurgeon was the Wild's best player, assisting on two goals, scoring another and blocking a shot by Auston Matthews that quite possibly would have entered his own net. 

Spurgeon's second-period tally, his fifth of the season, came after Toronto's William Nylander broke a tie game a couple of minutes early, the kind of goal that could have been a backbreaker. Minnesota fell behind 2-0 early but scored the next two goals to get back even.

Video: MIN@TOR: Spurgeon sneaks a shot past Hutchinson

Nylander's goal once again gave the Leafs the lead, but Spurgeon was able to once again find the equalizer. 

The three-point day tied Spurgeon's career high. It was his fifth time he's accomplished the feat and second time this season. 

3. It was Kids Day in Toronto, and there was some remarkable talent on display.

A terrific concept was on display, as the Leafs incorporated kids into nearly every aspect of the game-day experience. That included a youth arena announcer, kids as in-arena hosts, two youth hockey teams on the ice for national anthems and even kids behind both benches as coaches. 

There were four kids officials, dressed in referee stripes.

One 15-year-old kid, Toronto's "mini Mike Babcock," even got to go into the Leafs dressing room before the game, address the team and announce the club's starting lineup. 

Between periods, there was a 12-year-old DJ spinning music.

Kudos to everyone involved. None of the traditional pomp and circumstance of a Maple Leafs game was sacrificed, even though it was kids doing the jobs of adults. 

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