Origin of the term
According to many sports historians, the term “hat trick” was regarded as an achievement in late 1800s, and was first used in the game of cricket. In 1958, H.H. Stephenson took three wickets on three balls in a cricket match, which is a rare feat in the game of cricket. Therefore, he was awarded with a hat, after which the term was named “hat trick”.
The sports historians do not have an exact idea about when was the term first used in hockey. However, its use became really popular in the game in mid 1900s.
It is believed that many hat companies used to award their premier hats to the players who used to score hat tricks in hockey matches. Also, people used to throw their hats after players scored hat tricks, and it became a tradition for hockey fans since then.
Hat trick, a rare accomplishment
In a hockey game, the priority of each team is to score more goals, as the team scoring more goals wins the match. A goal is scored when a player hits the puck into the opponent team’s goal. Usually, hockey games are low scoring games, as most of the times the teams only manage to score around 2 goals in a match. That is the reason why a hat trick is lauded as a rare feat in the game of hockey.
Three goals in a row – Natural hat trick
If a player scores three goals in a row, with no goals scored by any other player in-between, then it will be called as a natural hat trick. The same term can be used if a player scores on goal in three periods of a single match.