Including Grigorenko’s effort, the League seen 31 hat-tricks in its playoffs’ history.
03.03.2009. Jukka Hentunen (Ak Bars) against Barys
The Finn winger was a key player for the Kazan team who won the first-ever KHL title. In the very first Gagarin Cup final, Jukka Hentunen scored three goals, including the OT, game-winning goal in game six against Lokomotiv. However, he was even more effective against Barys, as he formed the first hat-trick in the Gagarin Cup history. Hentunen finished the first game off the scoresheet, but already in game two, he made himself notice with accurate shots. He was the Ak Bars player who most aggressively sought the opposition crease, and his natural hat-trick was a good reward. Barys mostly suffered the Finn player’s talent at the start of the second period, when Hentunen scored twice in two minutes and a half since the teams got out of the locker rooms.
03.15.2012. Vladimir Tarasenko (SKA) against Atlant
In the moment of his first postseason hat-trick, Vladimir Tarasenko was just 20, but he already scored three goals in a single game in three different occasions – including one with SKA, where he moved from Sibir Novosibirsk at the 2012 transfer deadline. If in his home town club he would play on the first line with Jonas Enlund and Jori Lehtera, with whom had incredible chemistry, in St. Petersburg he had to outdo himself to get some trust from Milos Riha. In the 2012 playoffs, the future superstar logged an average time on ice of a little bit more of 12 minutes. In that game against Atlant, Tarasenko was playing on SKA’s fourth line, but this didn’t prevent him in opening the score after only three minutes. When the scoreboard was signaling 3:59, Vladimir scored his second of the night. The Army men had a comfortable win against Riha’s former team, and the latest goal in the 7-1 massacre was scored once again by Tarasenko.
04.02.2011. Oleg Petrov (Atlant) against Lokomotiv
If Vladimir Tarasenko was only 20 when he scored his hat-trick on Atlant, Oleg Petrov was almost 40 when he scored three times on Lokomotiv. Oleg Petrov always played without considering his age. Many young players could only envy his speed and stamina. Who, if not him, was deemed to break multiple Gagarin Cup records? With his incredible efforts, Atlant reached the championship finals. In the second last game of the series against Lokomotiv, Riha’s team destroyed Lokomotiv with a crushing 8-2 score. Petrov himself scored three goals.
02.27.2011. Oleg Petrov (Atlant) against Severstal
In the 2011 Gagarin Cup playoffs, Oleg Petrov posted two hat-tricks. Severstal also fell as one of his victims. He scored three goals against Cherepovets when he was one month younger than when he scored three on Atlant. However, this hat-trick was destined to get into the history books in any case. No one, before or after Petrov, managed to post a hat-trick in only three minutes.
Three minutes is exactly what the veteran needed to turn a 1-0 game in a 4-0 triumph. He finalized two powerplay combinations between Sergei Mozyakin and Jan Marek. One minute later, Petrov added an even-strength goal, this time with the participation of his line. Oddly enough, the veteran forward didn’t only score on Vasily Koshechkin, but also on his backup Rastislav Stana.
02.22.2013. Nigel Dawes (Barys) against Traktor
“The most important thing is to stop on the right moment,” – we keep on hearing that on our childhood. “Less is more”, – this is precisely what we continuously hear now. Moreover, actually, most of the times, the players who scored a hat-trick calmed down after the third goal. A hat-trick is already quite a feat on its own. However, Nigel Dawes, in the first round of the 2013 playoffs, didn’t agree. In the first game of the series against Traktor, his team managed to get a win, without getting the top scorer on the scoresheet.
However, the next day Dawes paid off all his debts, without forgetting about the interests. He opened the score on the fifth minute, getting a double on the tenth with the help of his long-time linemates Bochenski and Boyd. But his most important goals were yet to come. With the game tied at two, Dawes managed to turn a hat-trick into poker, the only one in the Gagarin Cup history so far. The then Barys captain decided the outcome of the game almost alone, but the Kazakhstani team couldn’t get past Traktor.
03.12.2011. Daniel Tjarnqvist (Lokomotiv) against Dinamo Riga
In the whole Gagarin Cup history, only once did a defenseman score a hat-trick. The notable exception to the forwards’ rule was Lokomotiv’s Daniel Tjarnqvist. The oddity is that many notable offensive defensemen played in the League and accumulated stats much better than the Swede’s numbers.
In the previous two seasons, Tjarnqvist already scored three goals for Lokomotiv. However, the stay-at-home defenseman needed the whole regular season to score as much as he did in the second game of the 2011 playoffs. He scored his first goal after only five minutes, completing his hat-trick before the second intermission. After two even-strength goals, the Swede scored with the man advantage, making it a 6-2 game. Oddly enough, Tjarnqvist didn’t score any other goal for the Railwaymen and left Yaroslavl in the summer.
03.02.2017. Danis Zaripov (Metallurg) against Kunlun Red Star
03.11.2017. Danis Zaripov (Metallurg) against Barys
03.13.2017. Danis Zaripov (Metallurg) against Barys
As you have noticed, players can score hat-tricks at 20, at 40, or even being stay-at-home defensemen. However, as the rule goes, once is chance, twice is coincidence, third time is a pattern. In the 2017 playoffs, Danis Zaripov managed to post three hat-tricks. The legendary forward, who was already a veteran by then, as odd as it can seem never scored three times in a single postseason game, not even in his heydays with Ak Bars Kazan.
His last season in the Metallurg jersey was highlighted by a unique achievement. Firstly, Danis was on fire against Kunlun in the first round, where he added two helpers to a hat-trick. Then, in the series against Barys, he posted two hat-tricks in two games! Is it essential to say that Zaripov was the 2017 Gagarin Cup playoffs’ top goalscorer?
04.13.2019. Mikhail Grigorenko (CSKA) against Avangard
Mikhail Grigorenko is at his second season with CSKA, but until Saturday, he never had a hat-trick. This year he started scoring more, and in the series against Vityaz, twice he was at only one good shot to any forward’s dream. Mikhail managed to score a hat-trick with the jersey of the national team, but never at the club level. However, finally, Grigorenko managed to break the spell and get a deserved hat-trick in the very first game against the Eastern Conference’s top team. He beat twice Igor Bobkov with two great shots from opposite sides, and when Avangard closed the gap to a minimum, he sealed the deal with an empty-net goal. Scoring three goals in the Gagarin Cup finals was a trick that not his namesake Igor Grigorenko, nor anyone else could complete.