Danis Zaripov became the first player in the history of Russian championship to score three hat-tricks in a single playoff run. Statistical details and exclusive comments by Alexei Morozov, Alexei Yashin and Andrei Kovalenko in today’s edition of Numbers and Facts.

Metallurg Magnitogorsk forward Danis Zaripov already scored three hat-tricks this playoff run – two in the series against Barys Astana and another one against Kunlun Red Star. 35-year-old’s success pushed KHL.ru to take a closer look at the history of hat-tricks in Russian championship playoffs.

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Metallurg Magnitogorsk forward Sergei Osipov registered the first ever hat-trick in Russian championships to his name. It took place on March 11th, 1999 in the game between Metallurg Magnitogrosk and CSK VVS Samara. 16 teams competed in the playoffs that spring 18 years ago but just two players enjoyed hat-tricks. Aside from the aforementioned Osipov’s hat-trick, youngster Maxim Afinogenov also scored three goals in the game between Dynamo Moscow and Lada Togliatti. These are the oldest, the youngest, the quickest, the earliest and the latest hat-tricks in history. This is how it all began.

 Hat-trick category

 Player

 Team

 Age/Time

 Game

 Date

 The youngest

 Maxim Afinogenov

 Dynamo Moscow

 19,54 y.o.

 Lada @ Dynamo Moscow

 March 21st, 1999

 The oldest

 Sergei Osipov

 Metallurg Mg

 31,24 y.o.

 CSK VVS @ Metallurg Mg

 March 11th, 1999

 The quickest

 Sergei Osipov

 Metallurg Mg

 20-46

 CSK VVS @ Metallurg Mg

 March 11th, 1999

 The earliest

 Maxim Afinogenov

 Dynamo Moscow

 49-56 into the game

 Lada @ Dynamo Moscow

 March 21st, 1999

 The latest

 Sergei Osipov

 Metallurg Mg

 57-59 into the game

 CSK VVS @ Metallurg Mg

 March 11th, 1999

 

 

In 2000 there was just one hat-trick registered in the playoffs. It was the quickest hat-trick in history as Dynamo Moscow forward Alexander Kharitonov completed the feat at 44-12. The hat-trick took place on March 1st, 2000 in the game between Dynamo Moscow and Dinamo-Energia Yekaterinburg.

Eight teams competed in the 2001 Russian Superleague Playoffs but that spring featured a record number of hat-trick – there were three of those. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s Pavel Vorobyov became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the playoffs – he was 18,85 years old at the moment. He also scored the latest hat-trick. Back then a tie in regulation was followed by a 10-minute overtime and shootout if necessary. This is why Vorobyov completed his hat-trick with the shootout-winner at 70-00. Both of these records were registered on March 12th, 2001 in the game between Ak Bars Kazan and Lokomotiv.

There were no hat-tricks in the 2002, 2004 and 2005 Russian Superleague Playoffs. There were no hat-tricks in the 2003 Playoffs either but Andrei Kovalenko did enjoy a 4-goal game. Kovalenko got four tallies by 49-17 in the game between Lokomotiv and Lada. He scored his first goal at 06-03 and 25-38 later he completed his hat-trick.

Olympic champion Andrei Kovalenko:


“My 4-goal night in the playoffs? I remember all of the goals,” says Olympic champion Andrei Kovalenko. “I scored one of them on a powerplay off Yuri Butsyaev’s assist, then I tipped Dmitry Krasotkin’s shot in and the other two, I think, came at even strength. Obviously, you can’t say that scoring a hat-trick in the playoffs is more important than scoring a hat-trick in the regular season. But it’s definitely more difficult to score one in the playoffs. You’re more focused and alert in the playoffs. There are a lot of close and gritty games. That pressure prevents many players to play up to their full potential."

“Danis Zaripov is a very experienced player. He’s used to play at a high level not only in the regular season but in the playoffs as well. This is where his numbers come from. And, obviously, let’s not forget about his linemates. A lot depends on how well, when and where they pass the puck. I saw how Zaripov scored his goals in last game against Barys – he had to score in all of those situations! Although, many players would fan on a shot, miss the net or do something like that because of the pressure. And yet Danis just keeps firing them in. Hopefully, that wasn’t his last hat-trick!”.

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The 2006 playoffs once again featured 16 teams. The augmented number of games led to one hat-trick and one 4-goal performance. Notably, it was Metallurg Magnitogorsk defenseman Dmitry Yushkevich who got the hat-trick. Moreover, he sat a record for the ‘oldest’ hat-trick in Russian Superleague Playoffs as Yushkevich was 34,34 years old at the moment. The record took place on March 23rd in the game between Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Lada. The hat-trick would have been the earliest in history, as Yushkeivch completed it by 33-35, had it not been for Andrei Kovalenko, who’d completed his intermediate hat-trick by 31-41.

What about 4-goal performances? Any intermediate records there? Turns out there is! In the game between Ak Bars and HC MVD on March 13thAlexei Morozov scored four goals by 38-14 and he’d completed his hat-trick by 32-50. However, this isn’t a record. The record is the span in which the three goals were scored – 16-54.

“I do remember my 4-goal game against HC MVD. It’s prestigious to score three or four goals even in a regular season but playoff games mean extra responsibility and they are more difficult,” says 2-time IIHF World Championship gold medalist and Olympic medalist Alexei Morozov. “Helping your team win a playoff game or series is more important. But despite the fact scoring hat-tricks is more difficult in the playoffs, Danis Zaripov has already scored three of them! Nicely done indeed!"


“What’s so special about him? The line, the teammates, the scoring chances, his ability to capitalize on them… Maybe there’s something about his sticks? Maybe they were made to score hat-tricks! I should probably ask him about it for further use (smiling). Actually, I don’t root for anybody in the playoffs. I just enjoy great hockey and Zaripov’s great performance as well.”

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The 2007 playoffs also featured 16 teams – the set number for all future post-seasons. There was just one hat-trick but notably it was Danis Zaripov’s first career playoff hat-trick. That’s when it all began! The 2008 playoffs were the last in Russian Superleague history and the fans were treated to three hat-tricks and one 4-goal performance. No records, though.

Here’s a list of Russian championship playoff records before the inception of the Kontinental Hockey League.

 

 Hat-trick category

 Player

 Team

 Age/Time

 Game

 Date

 The youngest

 Pavel Vorobyov

 Lokomotiv

 18,85 y.o.

 Lokomotiv @ Ak Bars

March 12th, 2001

 The oldest

 Dmitry Yushkevich

 Metallurg Mg

 34,34 y.o

 Lada @Metallurg Mg

March 23rd, 2006

 The quickest

 (*intermediate hat-trick)

 Alexei Morozov

 Ak Bars

 16-54

 HC MVD @ Ak Bars

March 13th, 2006

 The earliest

 Andrei Kovalenko

 Lokomotiv

 31-41 into the game

 Lada @ Lokomotiv

 March 28th, 2003

 The latest

 Sergei Osipov

 Metallurg Mg

 57-59 into the game

 CSK VVS @ Metallurg Mg

 March 11th, 1999

And here’s the record dynamics in 9 KHL seasons.

 

 Hat-trick category

 Player

 Team

 Age/Time

 Game

 Date

 The youngest

 Eric Landry

 Dynamo Moscow

 34,14 y.o.

 CSKA @ Dynamo Moscow

 March 11th, 2009

 

 Alexei Morozov

 Ak Bars

 33,09 y.o.

 Metallurg Mg @ Ak Bars

 March 20th, 2010

 

 Denis Platonov

 Metallurg Mg

 29,34 y.o.

 Avangard @ Metallurg Mg

 March 9th, 2011

 

 Vladimir Tarasenko

 SKA St. Petersburg

 20,25 y.o

 Atlant @ SKA

 March 15th, 2012

 The oldest

 Alexei Yashin

 Lokomotiv

 35,35 y.o

 Spartak @ Lokomotiv

 March 12th, 2009

 

 Oleg Petrov

 Atlant

 39,96 y.o

 Lokomotiv @ Atlant

 April 2nd, 2011

 The quickest

 Eric Landry

 Dynamo Moscow

 11-35

 CSKA @ Dynamo Moscow

 March 11th, 2009

 

 Oleg Petrov

 Atlant

 03-00

 Atlant @ Severstal

 February 27th, 2011

 The earliest

 Jukka Hentunen

 Ak Bars

 22-27 into the game

 Barys @ Ak Bars

 March 3rd, 2009

 

 Oleg Petrov

 Atlant

 15-40 into the game

 Atlant @ Severstal

 February 27th, 2011

 The latest

 Alexei Yashin

 Lokomotiv

 58-52 into the game

 Spartak @ Lokomotiv

 March 12th, 2009

 

 Denis Platonov

 Metallurg Mg

 59-49 into the game

 Avangard @ Metallurg Mg

 March 9th, 2011

 

 Denis Mosalyov

 Dynamo Moscow

 70-09 into the game

 Dynamo Moscow @ SKA

 March 28th, 2012

 

 Maxim Karpov

 Dynamo Moscow

 72-22 into the game

 Dynamo Moscow @ SKA

 March 8th, 2017

 

 

“It was a long time ago, so I don’t remember my hat-trick too well, just one of the goals (smiling). I think I got it in with a shot from the blue line,” says 2-time Olympic medalist and IIHF World Championship gold medalist Alexei Yashin. “Actually, it’s more important to help your team win than how many goals did you score personally. You can score a hat-trick and then hit a drought. Or score three goals and still lose the game."

“So on one hand scoring a hat-trick in the playoffs is a huge achievement, but you should always keep in mind that you need four wins to proceed to the next round. As for Danis Zaripov… The have a great line! Sergei Mozyakin led the team throughout the season. Then the teams began playing tighter against him and that created scoring opportunities for other players. Zaripov is one of the best forwards in the history of Russian hockey, there’s no question about it! If you give him too much room, he’s going to score."

“I follow the playoffs and, to be honest with you, I root for SKA. I used to play for that team and I know the management well. Although, I do cheer a little for my other former teams – Dynamo Moscow and Lokomotiv. I cheer for Russian hockey itself. I want it to keep getting better so that more fans would come to the games.”

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Overall there were 26 hat-tricks and one 4-goal performance registered in Gagarin Cup Playoffs. Danis Zaripov has three of them. Players from nine teams have scored hat-tricks in Gagarin Cup Playoffs in nine years.

 

 Team

 Hat-tricks

 Players

 Metallurg Mg

 7

 Danis Zaripov (3)

 Jan Kovar (1)

 Sergei Mozyakin (1)

 Оskar Osala (1)

 Denis Platonov (1)

 Dynamo Moscow

 5

 Mikhail Anisin (1)

 Maxim Karpov (1)

 Marek Kvapil (1)

 Eric Landry (1)

 Denis Mosalyov (1)

 Ak Bars

 4

 Niko Kapanen (1)

 Alexei Morozov (1)

 Vladimir Tkachyov (1)

 Jukka Hentunen (1)

 SKA

 3

 Vladimir Tarasenko (1)

 Viktor Tikhonov (1)

 Vadim Schipachyov (1)

 Lokomotiv

 2

 Daniel Tjärnqvist (1)

 Alexei Yashin (1)

 Barys

 2 (including a 4-goal game)

 Nigel Dawes (4-goal game)

 Dustin Boyd (1)

 Atlant

 2

 Oleg Petrov (2)

 Sibir

 1

 Jonas Enlund (1)

 Torpedo

 1

 Mikhail Varnakov (1)

 

As for the record number of hat-tricks in the history of Russian championship playoffs, it belongs to Metallurg Magnitogorsk – 10. Eight players combined for the record. Danis Zaripov leads the group with three. Zaripov has four playoff hat-tricks KHL and Russian Superleague combined, Oleg Petrov has two and 31 players have one. Can anybody edge Zaripov in this category in the next few years? Hockey will tell.

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