Colorado Avalanche: All About Matt Nieto’s 1st NHL Hat Trick

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24: Matt Nieto
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24: Matt Nieto /

Colorado Avalanche winger Matt Nieto scores his first career hat trick to help the team win 5-3.

Colorado Avalanche winger Matthew Nieto does not like being a healthy scratch. Prior to the game against the Dallas Stars, Nieto had only dressed in three other games — he was a scratch for five.

Well, one way to get the coach’s attention is by scoring goals. If you happen to score your first career hat trick in the meantime, so be it.

Nieto’s first goal came in the third period with the Dallas Stars already up 1-0. Captain Gabriel Landeskog entered the zone first and got a shot off. Nieto drove the net so he was in a position to bang home the rebound:

That was his first goal of the season. Landeskog got the only assist on the goal.

Apparently Nieto got a taste for scoring because he decided to do it again early in the second period. It was another hard-working goal. He and his linemates, Carl Soderberg and Blake Comeau, were scrambling around the net trying to get pucks on goal:

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Here’s another example of Nieto banging in a rebound. This time Blake Comeau shoots the puck, and Dallas goalie Ben Bishop makes the save. However, Nieto sneaks in from behind the net and chips it in over the top of a sprawling Bishop.

Matt Nieto didn’t have to work quite as hard for his final goal of the game. With just a few second left in the game and Dallas down by one, they pulled the goalie. Even though Colorado had been outworked in the third period, they brought it on when it counted most.

Comeau gains possession of the puck, and Nieto turns to move up ice. Comeau passes it to Nieto as he takes off — for some reason, despite his two goals of the game, not really covered. Sure enough, there’s just one Dallas player back, but Nieto dekes him and drives into the center.

It’s wide open ice and wide open net. Last year, maybe the Avalanche player misses the net. But not this year:

Matt Nieto hat trick, and the Colorado Avalanche end their losing streak at three. They’re now 5-4-0 on the season.

(Look at all those hats!)

In any case, that was Matt Nieto’s first career hat trick. And, of course, in honor of such a big first our captain was ready to “celebrate” him from the bench:

During his post-game presser, Nieto remarked:

"“It’s never fun to be sitting on the sidelines watching all your teammates go to war. To be back out there with them was awesome, and to be able to contribute was nice, too.”"

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Matt Nieto is never going to be the team’s top goal-scorer. That’s not his role. However, it’s good to see the Colorado Avalanche getting contributions from across their roster.