When Neil Musselwhite scored his fourth goal against Brockport's Todd Sheridan on Friday night, all 2,436 Campus Center patrons knew they had just witnessed something special.
Musselwhite, a senior forward, had just scored half of of his previous season best for goals in one game.
Even more impressive was the fact he netted three of his markers consecutively...all while on the penalty kill . Some, including the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, would say that's a shorthanded natural hat trick (others say you need to score all three goals in the same period).
Any way you slice it, three consecutive shorties doesn't happen that often. In fact, a little bit of Sunday morning internet research reveals that it had happened just twice before in NCAA history.
Dec. 12, 1988: The Harvard Crimson would win the National Championship in March of 1989, but they made headlines earlier in the season during a game against Dartmouth.
Junior C.J. Young scored the fastest three goals in the history of the program that day when he lit the lamp three times in 49 seconds.
The goals came at the end and then beginning of a period, but were scored in succession. Going by gospel of Wiki, that's the first-ever shorthanded natural hat trick in NCAA history.
Oct. 17, 2008 : Just shy of 20 years after Young's feat, Zach Harrison of Minnesota State achieved his own shorthanded natural hat trick against North Dakota .
Again, the feat was accomplished over the course of two periods and took 26 minutes and 44 seconds to complete.
Harrison's final man-down marker came on an empty net. The Hockey Hall of Fame was given Harrison's stick after the game and put it on display at their museum in Toronto.
Dec. 4, 2009: The shorthanded natural hat trick is achieved at the Division III level for the first time in recorded history. Oswego State's Neil Musselwhite beats Brockport goalie Todd Sheridan four times , three of the goals coming while on the penalty kill.
Those shorthanded tallies came in succession over a span of just 2 minutes of 59 seconds towards the end of the second and beginning of the third periods.
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