Two Finns notch a hat trick on same day NHL plays in Finland

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames

Friday was a gigantic day in Finnish hockey pertaining to the National Hockey League. Not only was Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland hosting the NHL game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche, but two Finnish players shined in NHL action.

NHL action in Tampere

The Avalanche went above .500 on Friday with a 6-3 win over the Blue Jackets. They now improve to a record of five wins, four regulation losses, and one loss in extra time. The Blue Jackets are struggling out of the gate, as they are at three wins and eight losses.

The NHL have had eight regular season games in Finland in the past, but this was the first NHL regular season game in Tampere as the other eight were in Helsinki. It should be noted that Blue Jackets star winger Patrik Laine was born in Tampere.

Hat trick for Mikko Rantanen

Friday was a big game for Avalanche right winger Mikko Rantanen of Nousiainen, Finland. He recorded his fourth career NHL hat trick. Rantanen put Colorado up 3-0 at the 35 second mark of the second period from Evan Rodrigues and Nathan MacKinnon. He then put the Avalanche up 4-3 with a power-play goal from MacKinnon and Cale Makar at 8:54 of the third period, which turned out to be the game-winner. Then with one minute and four seconds left in the third period, Rantanen closed out the scoring from MacKinnon and Devon Toews. Rantanen also picked up an assist on a third period goal by Makar.

Rantanen’s prior hat tricks came in a 4-0 Avalanche win over the Montreal Canadiens on February 7, 2017, in a 5-2 Avalanche win over the New Jersey Devils on January 4, 2020, and in a 6-2 Avalanche win over the Nashville Predators on November 27, 2021. So far in 2021-22, Rantanen has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in 10 games. He is a +1 with eight penalty minutes, eight power-play points, one game-winning goal, 32 shots on goal, 19 faceoff wins, five blocked shots, eight hits, eight takeaways, and three giveaways.

Hat trick for Sebastian Aho

Then in Friday night’s game in the United States between the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres, Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho of Rauma, Finland had his fifth career NHL hat trick in a 5-3 Carolina win. It was the first time ever that two Finnish players in the NHL got a hat trick on the same date.

Aho scored from Teuvo Teravainen of Helsinki, Finland, and Seth Jarvis at 8:07 of the first period to tie the game at one. Aho then tied the game at two at 12:45 of the first period from Martin Necas and Andrei Svechnikov on the power-play. Then at 17:46 of the third period, Aho notched his hat trick as the Hurricanes went up 5-2. He once again got assists from Teravainen and Jarvis. Aho also had a fourth point as he had a second period assist on a goal by Necas.

Aho’s prior hat tricks came in a 5-1 Carolina win over the Philadelphia Flyers on January 31, 2017, in a 6-3 Hurricanes win over the Nashville Predators on January 13, 2019, in a 6-2 Hurricanes win over the Minnesota Wild on December 7, 2019, and in a 5-2 Hurricanes win over the Chicago Blackhawks on May 3, 2021. So far in 2021-22, Aho has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in 11 games. He is a +1 with 10 penalty minutes, five power-play points, two game-winning goals, one shorthanded point, 29 shots on goal, 100 faceoff wins, three blocked shots, 11 hits, seven takeaways and nine giveaways.

With the win, the Hurricanes improved to a record of eight wins, two regulation losses, and one loss in extra time for 17 points. They are in first place in the Metropolitan Division.



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