Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hull Puts His Mark on Kiel with Tip of the Hat

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hull Puts His Mark on Kiel with Tip of the Hat

Article excerpt

What do Brett Hull and Greg Paslawski have in common?

Nothing . . . except a place in Kiel Center history. Hull moved into Paslawski's neighborhood, improving property values considerably, by scoring a hat trick and leading the Blues to a 7-4 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

With three goals, Hull became the first Blues player to score a hat trick at the new rink. But he is the second player overall to turn the trick. Paslawski was the first, scoring a hat trick for Peoria in an International Hockey League game at Kiel Center on Oct. 31.

Paslawski's night may, or may not, be remembered by the slightly more than 12,000 who attended. Hull's trifecta will be recalled in detail by the 20,282 in attendance Saturday. The gathering tied the Blues' attendance record set opening night, Jan. 26.

Hull added an assist to his three goals, giving him a nine goals and 14 points in what has been an invigorating early season performance. After suggesting he'd rather go elsewhere last summer, Hull has been something else in the new Blues uniform.

"When he plays like that, he is the best in the world," said defenseman Steve Duchesne, who has played with the likes of Wayne Gretzky. "I look and learn."

Coach Mike Keenan added: "Spectacular. He's on an MVP season pace right now."

Hull insists it is the team, the time and the trust Keenan has given him. But . . .

"Since I've been here, this is the first time I've seen him play like this," said Duchesne, who joined the team Jan. 2, 1994. "He does everything. He forechecks, he back-checks, he's creating his own chances He's in constant motion."

Hull's three goals included a short-handed effort, but all were important. He tied the game twice and gave the Blues a 4-3 lead in the second period, an advantage they never relinquished.

The victory improved the Blues' home mark to 3-1 and overall record to 6-2. It also came against a team that dispensed with the Blues, four games and out, in last year's playoffs. But this team has 14 new players.

"The revenge thing is not that big of a factor, except that this is a team in our division and it's good to beat them," Hull said.

Hull never has scored more than three goals in a game - and he never especially wants to.

"If it's a tight game, I'm going to try to score, obviously," Hull said. "But if we built a three-goal lead, I'm not going to start chicken-hawking or cherry-picking, looking for goals. And if I'm in a two-on-one, you better believe I'm going to pass it."

Hull's assist came on another short-handed tally - by Esa Tikanen. Denis Chasse had two goals and Greg Gilbert added a goal for the Blues. For the second game in succession, Jon Casey starred in relief in net.

"I'm a reliever," said Casey, who stopped 16 of 17 shots, several in scintillating style. …

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