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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Here come the hats!

     October 30, 1971 -- It didn't take long for the Sabres' top draft choice of 1971, Rick Martin, to show he was a talented scorer.

     Martin hadn't even finished his first month in the National Hockey League when he had the first of his 21 hat tricks. The outburst came as the Sabres earned a 4-4 tie with the Vancouver Canucks, another expansion team from the Class of 1970.

     Martin's first goal came in the first period, and he had two more in the third. Gerry Meehan scored the other goal for Buffalo, which almost let a point get away after taking a 4-2 lead. Vancouver scored twice in the last 11 minutes to tie the game up.

     The Sabres were outshot, 37-16, in this game. As you might have guessed, Roger Crozier played well enough to keep the Sabres in the game.

     As for Martin, the left winger was a great fit with Gil Perreault on the Sabres' top line, as they were a potent combination for most of the rest of the decade. Talk about a sniper -- Martin might have had the most accurate slap shot in recent NHL history.


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.