Hat tricks aren’t new for Parker Brown, particularly in the North American Hockey League.
On Dec. 8, 2018, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs right wing contributed three goals in a 6-2 win over the Chippewa Steel in a Midwest Division game in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
However, the latest three-goal output for the 20-year-old native of Hanahan, South Carolina was unique.
Brown delivered a natural hat trick in the first period of Saturday’s 8-3 win over the expansion New Mexico Ice Wolves in the finale of the nondivision series at the Outpost Ice Arena in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A natural hat trick involves the same player scoring three times in a row during a game.
“I’ve had hat tricks growing up through the years but this one was actually real special, considering it was all done within the first period,” Brown said after Wednesday’s practice at the Big Dipper Ice Arena, where the Ice Dogs host the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues in a Midwest Division series at 7 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Brown gave Fairbanks a 3-1 lead to take into the first intermission Saturday at the Outpost Ice Arena. All three of the Air Force Academy commit’s goals were assisted by linemates Matt Koethe, a second-year Ice Dogs center from Minnetonka, Minnesota, and a
Oliver Kjaer a rookie left wing from Esbjerg, Denmark.
Kjaer helped on all three goals, and he and Koethe combined to set up Brown’s second goal at 3:50 of the first period.
The chemistry of the three linemates extends off the ice.
Koethe and Brown are both second-year Ice Dogs and have become close friends.
“We both live in North Pole about a mile apart and we’re always at each other’s houses,” Brown said. “He’s just a great guy on and off the ice.”
Brown and Kjaer live with the same billet family this season.
“Me and him have to come to have a real brotherly-type bond, where we’re best friends but we can hate each other at the same time,” Brown said lightheartedly. “On the ice, it just happens to click and I couldn’t ask for a better relationship.”
Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart said Brown was the team’s hardest working player on the ice in the first period Saturday.
“He was all over the puck, he was skating at a high level,” Stewart said. “Everybody else was doing a good job of playing catch-up and supporting him.
“He was moving and doing what we know he’s capable of.”
Brown said he approached the first period Saturday with the same mentality he has for every game for the Ice Dogs.
“It was just to go out there and work as hard as I could and have fun while I was doing it,” Brown said of the opening period Saturday in Albuquerque.
“I had good talks with the linemates before the game and during the game, we were all excited and pumped up and ready to go. And Saturday night, we just showed it.”
Brown has grown into a leader for the Ice Dogs afetter contributing 41 points from 15 goals and 26 assists in 57 games last season.
We expect that from players from year to year that they develop both athletically and personally,” said Stewart, “and Parker has certainly done that.
“We expect some big things from him the remainder of the season.”
Besides the hat trick, he also had an assist during Saturday’s game in Albuquerque to give him seven goals and three assists for 10 points in 16 games this season.
The Ice Dogs are having a free skate from 6-7 p.m. today at the ice rink in the Fort Wainwright Physical Fitness Center.
The skate is open service members and post employees, and their respective families.
Eve Baker, community and media relations specialist for the Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office, said another free skate with the Ice Dogs is scheduled for March.
Promotions are scheduled for each of the three games against Springfield at the Big Dipper.
Thursday’s game is sponsored by Coors Light and Saturday’s game is sponsored by Denali State Bank.
There will be qualifying during intermissions all three nights for the Coors Light/Odom Corporation four-wheeler and the GCI Apple Watch to each be given away later in the season.
There also will be qualifying Friday a person to go into the Cash Cube to try to win cash.
Saturday’s game is sponsored by the Oasis Restaurant and Lounge.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.