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April 17, 2017
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel notched a hat trick in Sunday’s Game 3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to record it.
The overtime tally also pushed him into the record books. Guentzel’s goal joined him with Gerry Plamondon as the only two rookies in NHL history to score a hat trick in the Stanley Cup playoffs that also included a goal in the extra session, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).
A third-round selection by the Penguins in the 2013 NHL draft, Guentzel played three seasons in college hockey before joining the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins—the minor-league affiliate of Pittsburgh—last year.
The 22-year-old exploded on to the scene, totaling six points in 11 games late last season. He produced at an even higher rate to begin this season, collecting 42 points—21 goals and 21 assists—in 33 tilts before receiving a promotion to the top level in late November.
Guentzel was immediately handed a top-six role upon his arrival in Pittsburgh. He responded by scoring two goals in his NHL debut, including one on his first-ever shot at the top level. While some players struggle to initially adjust to the increased level of competition, Guentzel’s production continued.
In 40 regular-season contests with the Penguins this season, Guentzel recorded 33 points. His success has carried over into the postseason, posting five points over his first three career playoff games. He receives a chance to improve on those numbers and to assist in the Penguins’ efforts to advance past the first round in Game 4 on Tuesday.