Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett got off to a hot start against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night, notching a hat trick in the first period.
Just fifty six seconds in, he netted his seventh goal of the season behind goalie Roberto Luongo, and then returned 11:05 later to victimize him again. Five minutes after his second tally, he added a third to complete the hat trick in just 16:05.
This is Bennett’s first multi-goal game at the NHL level, and makes him the youngest Flame in franchise history to record a hat trick. As per Elias, at 19, he is also the third-youngest player in history to score three times in the opening frame.
Prior to the three-goal outburst, Bennett had broken an 18-game goal drought Monday night against the San Jose Sharks. Bennett celebrated this goal by literally removing the monkey from his back.
Bennett continued the scoring bonanza with a fourth goal in the waning seconds of the eventaul 6-0 victory. A backhand shot after some maneuvering around the Florida defensemen found its way past Al Montoya, who replaced Luongo at the start of the second, marking the first time since February 23, 2003 a Calgary skater racked up four goals in a game. Former captain Jarome Iginla scored all four goals that night against the (then) Phoenix Coyotes.
Additional goals came from Johnny Gaudreau who snuck one past Luongo between the second and third Bennett goals, and Mason Raymond who had a tip in in the 2nd period.
-- Cait Platt