Kevin Schaeffer's first collegiate hat trick earned him Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors.
Kevin Schaeffer, whose hat trick against Yale on Sunday night made him, according to available records, the first Terrier freshman defenseman in school history to have a three-goal game, has been named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week.
There have been other freshmen to score hat tricks. The most recent was Mike Pandolfo, who did it twice during the 1998-99 season. But, Pandolfo was a forward.
There have been other defensemen to enjoy three-goal games. The most recent was Tom Poti, who had his hat trick during the 1997-98 season. But, Poti was a sophomore that year.
Ironically, Schaeffer, who hails from South Huntington, NY, wasn't the only defenseman to have a hat trick during the Terriers' 7-2 win over Yale on Saturday night. Junior Ryan Whitney (Scituate) also had one as it was the first time in the long and storied history of hockey at Boston University that two defensemen had hat tricks in the same game. Again, this is according to available records.
Schaeffer began his three-goal evening at 11:50 of the first period. He came skating in from the right point and took a pass from John Laliberte (Saco, ME) at the right faceoff circle. Schaeffer roofed his shot just under the cross bar. The force of the shot broke Yale starting goalie Matt Modelski's water bottle that was sitting atop the goal. Freshman Kenny Roche (South Boston, MA) also had an assist.
The second goal came on the Terrier power play at 10:09 of the second period. His shot from the right point beat a screened Modelski, and it gave the Terriers a 4-0 lead. The assists went to sophomore Dan Spang (Winchester, MA) and senior Frantisek Skladany (Martin, Slovakia).
Schaeffer brought hats to the ice with his final goal at 19:10 of the second period. His shot, as was his second goal, came from the right point. It was a blistering shot that appeared to go through the legs of a Yale defenseman and beat Modelski to the far left corner of the goal. Again, Skladany picked up an assist as did junior David Klema (Roseau, MN).
"I didn't expect anything like this," Schaeffer said after the game. "The puck was just going in for me tonight."
Whitney's three goals came at 8:21 and 11:00 of the first period and at 18:37 of the third period. As was the case with Schaeffer, this marked Whitney's first collegiate hat trick.
"I have never seen two defensemen have hat tricks in the same game," said Jack Parker, who is in his 31st season as the Terrier head coach.