Phoenix Coyotes Take Two Over Weekend. Hat Tricks Never Hurt

The Phoenix Coyotes took a pair of home wins over the weekend, beating the Calgary Flames 5-4 on Friday, and the St. Louis Blues 5-3 on Saturday. A pair of hat tricks from Vernon Fiddler and Ray Whitney certainly helped things.

Scoring isn't exactly Fiddler's strong suit -- he's more a physical forward, who beats up on defenseman and sets up goals. His three goals on Friday was his first hat trick of his career -- and it couldn't have come against a better opponent.

Fiddler's from Edmonton, home of the Oilers. That breed of Canadian knows only one thing: the Calgary Flames are the enemy.

"Yeah, you always want to beat the Flames, so this feels real good," Fiddler said after the game. "My style is more defensive, but I guess I got three lucky bounces. The bottom line, though, is we picked two points in the standings, and that's what this game boiled down."

Fiddler's three goals, combined with goals from Lee Stempniak and Scottie Upshall, were enough to beat the Flames -- but barely.

The Coyotes were up 5-2 with a minute left to play. The Flames, however, managed to score two goals within the last minute of the game to make it 5-4 when the final buzzer blared.

On Saturday, Whitney was the star of the show, with five total points (two assists) and a hat trick of his own.

Taking advantage of power plays has been a problem for the team since last season. On Saturday, however, the Howlers pounced on the man advantage three times -- one of Whitney's three goals, and goals scored by Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal (both assisted by Whitney) were scored on the power play.

"We're finding ways to win," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett told ESPN after the game. "As a result, we're getting valuable points at home, so we need to find ways to pick up important points on the road."

The team heads to Calgary to face the Flames again on Wednesday. For more info click here.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King