Despite the fact that Austria was severely outmatched by Finland in their preliminary matchup in Sochi on Thursday, Michael Grabner was able to put on a show in a losing effort.
Grabner – the 26-year old New York Islanders representative – had the first hat-trick of the 2014 Winter Olympics, beating Tuukka Rask for three of Austria’s four goals in a 8-4 loss.
His first (above) came on a one-timer that snuck under Rask’s pad just 36 seconds into the game, giving Austria an unlikely early lead.
Grabner’s second came a minute and a half into the second period, when he was able to use his lethal speed to burn Jussi Jokinen on a give-and-go that set up a nice one-timer in front. Just look at those jets.
The hat-trick was wrapped up late in the third when the game was well in-hand. Grabner used his speed and handles to create an opening for himself before sliding it five-hole on Rask, who was about a foot out of his crease.
Austria’s suspect defense gives them little to no chance to do anything in Sochi, but if Grabner can keep up this level of play they’ll at least be pretty entertaining to watch.discussion by Sidelines