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Calgary Flames hammer Buffalo Sabres: Ristolainen being praise for historic hat trick

Calgary Flames hammer Buffalo Sabres: Ristolainen being praise for historic hat trick

Calgary Flames hammer Buffalo Sabres: Ristolainen being praise for historic hat trick

The game of ice hockey can be completely unpredictable. A team that seems to be down and out can regroup all in a sudden and go on to win the match. In other sports such turnarounds are not so common, but when it comes to NHL, this has been the norm and not the exception. Though the team in question couldn’t win the match on Friday, nonetheless they won the heart of their fans and detractors too.

There is no denying the match that such unpredictable nature plays an important role in making the game so much more popular. The Buffalo Sabres trailed by two goals entering the third period of their game Thursday against the Calgary Flames. Then defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen started shooting the puck.

Hockey fans were startled to see the match becoming so live all in a sudden. Ristolainen scored three times in the third period, nearly bringing the Sabres back in a game they lost 4-3. Two of the goals tied the game, and his hat trick came in a span of 11 minutes, 48 seconds.

With this superlative performance, Ristolainen has become the first Sabres defenseman to score three goals in a single period. Statistics provided by the Elias Sports Bureau suggest that he’s the first Sabres defenseman with a hat trick since Hockey Hall of Fame member Phil Housley on Jan. 22, 1988 against the New Jersey Devils, and he was the first defenseman to score three times in a period since another Hockey Hall of Fame member, Al MacInnis, in the first period of a game for the St. Louis Blues against the New York Rangers on Oct. 12, 1998.

After his impressive performance a beaming, but disappointed Ristolainen said, “I don’t know. Maybe when I was 10 or something when I played forward…I don’t really remember. Maybe never”. Ristolainen, at 21 years, 44 days, is only the third defenseman 21 or younger to score a hat trick since the 1987-88 season, according to hockey-reference.com, joining Bryan Fogarty (21 years, 173 days) of the Quebec Nordiques against the Sabres on Dec. 1, 1990, and P.K. Subban (21 years, 311 days) of the Montreal Canadiens against the Minnesota Wild on March 20, 2011.

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