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Rookie Josh Jooris records hat trick as Flames defeat Coyotes

12/03/2014 12:09 EST | Updated 02/01/2015 05:59 EST
CALGARY - Josh Jooris says there were a lot more hats on the ice this time.

Four years after his last hat-trick— which came against Sacred Heart in the first game of his freshman season at Union College— Jooris recorded his first NHL three-goal game on Tuesday leading the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.

"It feels great," said the 24-year-old sophomore. "It doesn't cross the mind at all. I go out there, try to play my game and if goals come like that, they come. Things worked out tonight."

Jooris' second of the night, the game-winner breaking a 2-2 tie, came at 7:13 of the second period on a neat set-up from fellow rookie Johnny Gaudreau.

Up against the end boards, Gaudreau threaded a perfect centring pass to Jooris skating through the slot and with the puck on his forehand, Jooris got just enough of his shot for the puck to trickle up and over Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.

"I knew it was coming. I called for it but I didn't even have to call for it. He saw me so he made a great play and I got a pretty fortunate bounce and it trickled over (Smith's) stick," Jooris said.

After Sean Monahan scored an insurance goal at 8:46, the same combination struck again in the final minute with Jooris scoring into an empty net to send dozens of hats onto the ice.

The clincher, which Jooris rifled in with authority on a breakaway, was his eighth goal of the season. After signing two summers ago, he spent all of his first pro season in the AHL, where he had just 11 goals in 73 games.

Jooris, who was never drafted, is now tied for third in rookie goal scoring while Gaudreau, after going scoreless his first five games, is up to 19 points to sit second in the league— four behind Nashville's Filip Forsberg.

Not to be forgotten, the third member of that line, Jiri Hudler, continued his red-hot play with two assists to extend his points streak to five games (five goals, five assists).

"Great game. Those three — Huds, Johnny and Joor — they have quite the chemistry going. It's fun. They're producing and on top of this, they're so reliable in the three zones. They're dominant right now," said Flames coach Bob Hartley. "They're exciting to watch. They're a big, big part of our team."

Also chipping in with two assists was veteran defenceman Dennis Wideman, who is enjoying a bounce-back season himself with eight goals and 15 points after scoring four times and collecting just 21 points a year ago.

"This year has been exciting for all of us. Young guys are coming in, they're excited because it's their first year," said the 31-year-old. "We're having a lot of fun, we're playing the right way and we're playing hard and for the older guys, it makes it exciting to come to the rink."

David Jones also scored for Calgary (16-8-2), which opened a three-game homestand. Winners of seven of their past nine, the Flames are one point back of the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks, who are tied atop the Western Conference.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Sam Gagner scored for Arizona (10-13-3). The Coyotes dropped their second game to the Flames in four days, having lost 3-0 to them at home on Saturday.

"We had some chances we didn't score on and then they made some big plays and scored some goals. We can't give up those opportunities," said Coyotes captain Shane Doan.

Trailing 2-1 entering the second period, Arizona tied it at 2:02 when Karri Ramo kicked out a rebound right to Gagner, who snapped a 13-game scoring drought by burying his third of the season into the open net.

"We seem to be caught in this rut where we're winning one then losing one," said Gagner. "We have to find a way to string some wins together and make sure we're playing consistently."

Calgary took a 2-1 lead at 18:36 of the first on a neat set up from Kris Russell. From the side boards, Russell sent a 50-foot back-hand saucer pass across the crease that landed right on the stick of Jooris, who hammered the puck past Smith.

"That was unbelievable. That was one of the better passes I've seen. It landed right on my tape," said Jooris.

Ramo entered the night coming off consecutive shutouts on the road, having blanked San Jose and then Arizona.

However, his quest to break Mike Vernon's team record shutout streak of 164:40 set in Dec. 1992 would fall well short as Ekman-Larsson's high shot from the blue-line eluded the screened Flames goaltender at 8:25, tying the score 1-1.

Ramo finished with 27 saves to improve to 7-2-1.

Smith had 19 stops to fall to 5-12-2. The veteran was making back-to-back starts after beating Edmonton on Monday night. Devan Dubnyk was in net for the Coyotes loss to Calgary on Saturday.

"It's about winning hockey games, and when you give up four, five with an empty netter, those are hard to come back in," said Arizona coach Dave Tippett.

Notes: Arizona D Connor Murphy (upper body) did not play. Chris Summers drew in for him after sitting the past six games... Back skating and nearing a return for the Flames are C Matt Stajan (knee) and Mason Raymond (shoulder). They have missed 15 and 16 games respectively... The Flames led after the first period for just the fourth time. They are 4-0-0 in those games... Calgary improved to 10-1-2 when scoring first... Ramo, 28, has 24 career wins for the Flames, which is the same number Miikka Kiprusoff had when he was Ramo's age..

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