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What is a Hat Trick in Hockey Game?

What is hat trick in hockey

Ever watched a hockey game and heard the term “hat trick” but was left scratching your head?

Our comprehensive guide will take you through all you need to know about this fascinating phenomenon in the world of hockey. Let’s dive into the icy depths of this thrilling event!

Key Takeaways

Understanding Hat Tricks In Hockey

dynamic hockey game

A hat trick in the dynamic world of hockey refers to an impressive feat achieved when a single player nets three goals within the same game. It symbolizes a momentous event, embedded deep into the fabric of this sport’s culture and history due to its rarity and excitement it generates among both players and fans.

However, contrary to common belief, this term does not originate from spectators hurling their hats onto the ice in celebration – that is merely tradition; instead, the first recorded ‘hat trick’ took place during a cricket match involving H.H Stephenson.

Scoring Three Goals In A Single Game

In the high-paced world of professional hockey, scoring three goals in a single game is an extraordinary feat. This hats-off accomplishment is widely known as a hat trick in hockey. 

The player who achieves this rare performance instantly etches his name into the annals of that particular game’s history, gaining much-deserved recognition from both teammates and spectators alike.

Hat tricks stand as momentous occasions; they epitomize skill, determination, and prowess on the ice rink. As such, fans often honor these memorable displays by joyously casting their own hats onto the ice—a unique tradition enveloping this remarkable achievement.

Just imagine: Maurice Richard or Mario Lemieux charging down with strength and grace, weaving around defenders to net not one..not two..but three goals in one game!

As each puck slips past the goalie into the twine-netted goalpost during NHL games, anticipation builds for that elusive third score – signaling a triumphant hat trick attainment.

Whether it’s during regulation time or power play periods doesn’t matter—the exhilaration surrounding this spectacle transcends every aspect of regular gameplay—making every hat trick an unforgettable piece of NHL history.

Learn more about power play points.

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Types Of Hat Tricks

There are different types of hat tricks in hockey, including the natural hat trick, Texas hat trick, and Gordie Howe hat trick.

Periods in ice hockey

Natural Hat Trick: Consecutive Goals By One Player

In the world of hockey, a “natural hat trick” stands out as an impressive feat. It’s when one player scores three goals consecutively in the same game, without any other team member from either side scoring between them.

Imagine that: all eyes fixed on one powerhouse player as they dominate the ice! This achievement can happen within a short period or span throughout the match, depending on how highly skilled and fortunate the goal-scorer is.

The 2017-2018 National Hockey League (NHL) season holds testament to this occurrence with record-breaking 81 natural hat tricks recorded – truly revealing that speed, precision and unyielding determination make for unforgettable games in NHL history.

Gordie Howe Hat Trick: Goal, Assist, And Fight By One Player

A unique and exciting variation of the traditional hat trick in hockey is the Gordie Howe hat trick. Named after the legendary player himself, this achievement involves a player scoring a goal, assisting on another goal, and getting into a fight all within the same game.

It’s an impressive display of skill, physicality, and versatility that showcases a player’s ability to make an impact in multiple areas of the game. Rick Tocchet holds the record for the most Gordie Howe hat tricks with 18, while Gordie Howe achieved this feat twice during his illustrious career.

Texas Hat Trick: Scoring Four Goals In A Game

The Texas hat trick is a legendary feat in the world of hockey. It occurs when a player manages to score not just three, but an astonishing four goals in a single game. Picture the excitement that fills the arena as fans toss their hats onto the ice to celebrate this incredible accomplishment.

While hat tricks are already quite impressive, achieving a Texas hat trick takes it to another level entirely. Scoring four goals in one game is no easy task and requires exceptional skill and timing.

With only a handful of players managing to achieve this remarkable achievement throughout NHL history, it truly showcases the extraordinary talent and determination of those who have accomplished it.

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Rarity Of Hat Tricks In Hockey

hat-trick_ice hockey
Hat tricks in hockey are not rare occurrences, but they do not happen in every game.

How Often Hat Tricks Occur In Professional Hockey?

Hat tricks are not an everyday occurrence in professional hockey. While they may not be as rare as some might think, they still don’t happen in every game.

In fact, during the 2017-2018 NHL season, which holds the record for the most hat tricks in a single season with 81 recorded, there were only about 1.5 hat tricks per week on average. 

So while hat tricks can be exciting and memorable moments in a game, they are still something special that fans eagerly anticipate whenever their favorite players take to the ice.

Notable Players With The Most Hat Tricks

Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull are among the notable hockey players notorious for their impressive number of hat tricks. This skill isn’t just about raw talent; it requires precision, timing, and a deep understanding of the game.


Number of Hat Tricks

Wayne Gretzky


Mario Lemieux


Brett Hull


It’s worth noting that these players are part of the elite breed of hockey athletes who have consistently delivered hat tricks, with Gretzky leading the pack. The ability to score multiple goals in a single game repeatedly underlines their mastery of the sport and a testament to their enduring legacy in the history of professional hockey.

While not happening in every game, hat tricks are an exciting and cherished occurrence in the world of hockey. Whether it’s a natural hat trick, Texas hat trick, or Gordie Howe hat trick, these impressive displays of skill and goal-scoring prowess leave fans in awe and players etching their names into hockey history.