NHL games consist of fast stick plays, occasionally intense fighting, and exhilarating moments between both teams. One of the rarest plays that takes place during a hockey game is the natural hat trick. So what exactly is a natural hat trick in hockey? Is that what happens when fans of the home team throw items on the ice in celebration? Learn more about this rare occurrence in hockey below!
What is a Natural Hat Trick in Hockey?
A natural hat trick occurs when an ice hockey player scores three consecutive goals in a single game. One thing to remember is that a natural hat trick can occur across multiple periods as long as nobody else scores goals. However, a natural hat trick does not take place if the goals come from a shootout. An example of this would be if a player had two goals during regular play and then got the third goal during a shootout.
According to The Hockey Writers, the hockey hat trick occurs in less than 8 percent of games. To put that in perspective, shutouts in hockey happen over 12 percent of the time. A shutout means that one of the teams playing did not score any goals during the game. That means that if you are at a game and catch a natural hat trick, you are pretty lucky!
What Happens When a Natural Hat Trick Takes Place?
When a home hockey team player scores three uninterrupted goals in a game, home fans throw their hats on the ice. However, fans can throw other things on the ice to celebrate the hat trick. For example, fans of the Nashville Predators will throw catfish on the ice while the Detroit Red Wings will throw octopus. Most teams in the National Hockey League do something different, which makes catching a natural hat trick exciting when you visit various venues.
What is the Origin of the Hat Trick in Hockey?
Back in 1946, a Chicago Blackhawks player named Alex Kaleta made a bet with a hat owner (Sammy Taft) in Toronto, saying he would get the hat for free if he scored three goals. Alex Kaleta made three uninterrupted goals during the game, which made him get that hat for free. The press later found out about the story and led a promotion with Sammy Taft to give away free hats to a Toronto Maple Leaf’s player who would score three uninterrupted goals.
Who Has the Most Natural Hat Tricks in NHL History?
The NHL record for the most natural hat tricks belongs to Wayne Gretzky at fifty. Sometimes NHL players and fans will even call a hat trick the “Wayne Gretzky Hat Trick” since his name is synonymous with this feat. The most hat tricks that Wayne Gretzky had in one season were ten, which he did twice in his career. He had ten hat tricks twice with the Edmonton Oilers.
Has Anyone got The Natural Hat Trick in the Playoffs?
Wayne Gretzky has the most playoff hat tricks with ten. The ten hat tricks took place with the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St Louis Blues, and New York Rangers. After Gretzky, two players (Maurice Richard and Jari Kurri) each have seven hat tricks in their career. You can find the complete list of hat trick totals in the playoffs from statmuse.com.
When Did the First Hat Trick Take Place in Hockey?
If you are curious, the first official hat trick in hockey took place in 1917 from Harry Hyland.
Has Anyone got 2 Hat Tricks in a Single Game?
Even more rare than a single natural hat trick game is the double natural hat trick. The player most known for recording two “two” hat tricks in their career was Joe Malone. Joe Malone recorded both double hat tricks in 1920 for the Quebec Bulldogs.
What is the Fastest Hat Trick in the NHL?
Back in 1952, a hat trick took place within 21 seconds of a hockey game by Bill Mosienko. Bill Mosienko was the Chicago Blackhawks forward, and the game was against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The second-fastest hat trick in the NHL took place by Jean Bealivean in 44 seconds of the Montreal Canadians against the Boston Bruins.
What is the Gordie Howe Hat Trick?
Most hockey fans will be familiar with the Natural Hat Trick saying, but what about the Gordie Howe Hat Trick? The Gordie Howe Hat Trick takes place when a player scores a goal, collects an assist and fights all in the same game. A “Double Gordie” takes place when two players on opposite teams accomplish this feat.
Catching a hockey game that results in a natural hat trick is rare and exciting. Home hockey fans and players recognize what took place and will figuratively and literally shower the player with praise for their accomplishment. Another exciting thing about the hat trick is how each home stadium does something different to recognize the player. Some teams will throw hats on the ice, while others will throw some seafood!