Parise Scores 1st Single-Period Hat Trick in Wild History

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffMarch 25, 2016

Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (11) plays against the New Jersey Devils during an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 in St. Paul Minn. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)
Paul Battaglia/Associated Press

Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise became the first player in franchise history to score three goals in a single period, recording a hat trick in the first period of Thursday's 6-2 win over the Calgary Flames, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).

Parise scored his 20th, 21st and 22nd goals of the season at 5:21, 6:07 and 16:33 (power play) of Thursday's opening period, with defenseman Mike Reilly, center Charlie Coyle and defenseman Ryan Suter, respectively, picking up the first assists. Interestingly enough, center Mikko Koivu was credited with the second assist on all three goals, bringing his total to 36 for the season.

Parise also added an assist on a second-period goal from defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who later found the back of the net for a second time, giving him the first multigoal game of his six-year career.

Parise, of course, hasn't lacked for multigoal games, but Thursday's performance only marked the fifth hat trick of his impressive 11-year career (755 games), per Sportsnet Stats.

He did have one earlier this season, leading the Wild to a 5-4 victory over the rival Colorado Avalanche in the season opener back on Oct. 8.

Though their season has been a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs since that point, the Wild now sit three points above the Avalanche in what appears to be a two-team race for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Coincidentally, the two teams will meet Saturday night, with the Avalanche having the opportunity to leapfrog Minnesota in the standings, as Colorado has the benefit of a game in hand.