Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Calgary's Sam Bennett Scores Four vs. Panthers

Just a few days after ending an 18-game goalless drought that would have shuttered most young players, Calgary's Sam Bennett hit the powerball for goal scorers, netting four--including three in the first period--in a 6-0 beatdown of the gassed-out Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.

Bennett, a fourth overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft that sat out most of 2015 after shoulder surgery, becomes the youngest Flame to ever record a hat-trick.

Bennett is one of two rookies to have scored four goals in a game in the last sixteen seasons. Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks, who scored four in October of 2013 against the Rangers, is the other.

Bennett's teammates say he never hung his head and did all the right things to help the team during his slump. “He had a tough slump there,” said Flames center Mikael Backlund after the game, according to George Johnson of the Calgary Herald. “He played good but mentally it’s tough with a goal drought there. ... For a young player, it’s easy to fade away in that situation. But he was really physical, still making plays and trying to score. If you’re a natural goal scorer, they’re eventually going to come. So I’m happy for him to get that ketchup out of the Heinz bottle."

Bennett is the first Flame to score four in a game since Jarome Iginla did the trick in 2003.