They were throwing hats onto the Salt Palace ice again Thursday night, for the third straight game. The latest hat trick honoree was Darryl Olsen, whose three goals led Salt Lake to a come-from-behind 7-4 victory over the Kansas City Blades.
Olsen followed the examples set by Martin Simard Saturday against Phoenix and by Corey Lyons Tuesday to record his first professional hat trick and help Salt Lake to its seventh win in eight games.Even more unlikely than Lyons, who doubled his goal output for the year Tuesday, was Olsen. The defenseman had just one goal in 24 previous games and quadrupled his total in one evening. He had no explanation.
`It was just one of those things," he said. "Corey Lyons got lucky last night and I got lucky tonight. Maybe things went my way for once. I got the bounces tonight."
Olsen actually led the team in shots on goal coming into the game. But as a defenseman most of those shots come from a long distance just as they did Thursday.
His first two goals came from just inside the blue line and both were tipped by opposing players. His second goal early in the third period, tied the score at 3-3.
After C.J. Young and Marc Bureau scored goals to give Salt Lake some breathing room, Olsen looked for No. 3 and got it with a rifle shot from a tough angle on the right side to make it 6-3.
He made no bones about his desire for a hat trick."I said, `Hey I'm going to go for it.' That's why I put my head down and shot it."
Olsen's performance overshadowed a great game by Bureau, who had a hand in six of the seven Eagle goals. Bureau scored twice, his second coming on a power play in the final two minutes and assisted on four other goals.
"The last three weeks since I came back from Calgary it looks like I've got some wings on," said Bureau, who took over the IHL scoring lead. "My teammates give me the puck and some good opportunities to score."
Although the final score was in line with three previous home wins over the expansion Blades this year (6-1, 8-4, 7-0), this one wasn't that easy.
Kansas City came out strong after the 7-0 thumping Tuesday and took a 3-2 lead after two periods. Jim Latos, Ron Handy and ex-Eagle Rick Barkovich all scored for KC while Olsen and Rich Chernomaz got Salt Lake's first two.
The Eagles looked particularly flat in the second period when they were outscored 2-0. Before the third period, Coach Bob Francis had a nice little "chat" with his players.
"We just discussed the fact that we got away from our gameplan a little bit," he said. "The guys have to be commended for the way they played in the third."
Olsen's second goal tied the score at 6:09 and Young put the Eagles up for good with a nice assist from Richard Zemlak from behind the goal at 7:41.
"You don't want to lose to a team like Kansas City," said Bureau.