The East Coast Hockey League saw a hat trick of hat tricks on Friday and then on Saturday the trio of hat tricks was repeated marking the fifth time in 2002-03 that more than one hat trick has been scored in a day.
There were 17 multiple hat trick days last season including four hat tricks on February 15. There were 13 days with two hat tricks and three days where three hat tricks were scored.
Friday saw Greensboro’s Olaf Kjenstad, Greenville’s Mikko Sivonen and Columbus’ Andrew Long each score three goals while Saturday had Richmond’s David Brosseau, Toledo’s Alexandre Jacques and Peoria’s Trevor Baker each with three goals.
Opening night on October 11 saw Reading’s Brian McCullough score the first hat trick in Royals history and Charlotte rookie Takahito Suzuki had three goals in his first-ever game in North America. Columbia’s Rejean Stringer and Roanoke’s Dan Carlson each registered a hat trick on October 19 while Greensboro’s Chris Bell and Pete Gardiner each scored three goals in the Generals 8-2 win at Charlotte on November 2.
Including a four-goal game by Columbia’s Justin Morrison on October 24, there have been 17 hat tricks registered in the first 210 ECHL games. Greensboro has accounted for almost 25 percent of those four hat tricks. The Generals scored four hat tricks in five games after not scoring a hat trick since January of 2001.
Bell and Gardiner each had a hat trick on November 2 while Jay Murphy scored three goals in the Generals 5-3 win over Pee Dee on November 9 and Kjenstad recorded his hat trick on Friday.
After going the entire 2001-02 season without a hat trick, Columbus had three in its first 14 games. Jeff Zehr scored three goals in the Cottonmouths 7-5 loss to Greenville on October 26 while Brent Cullaton scored all three goals in a 3-2 win at Florida on November 8 and Long had three goals in a 5-3 win over Greenville on Friday.
Charlotte and Greenville have each surrendered four hat tricks while Wheeling has allowed two hat tricks. Columbus, Dayton, Florida, Pee Dee, Reading and Trenton have each given up one hat trick while Augusta allowed the four-goal game to Morrison.