Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

In their season opening matchup, the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Dallas Stars by a score of 6-5 on Oct. 15. The thrilling, high-scoring affair saw former Denver Pioneer Joe Colborne record his first career hat-trick (three goals).

The game didn’t start out well for Colorado, as Dallas superstar center Tyler Seguin scored only 43 seconds into the game. Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov would give up another goal in the first period, pushing the Stars’ lead to two.

Not to be outdone by the opposition, Colborne was able to jam two goals home before the first period was over, effectively tying the game 2-2.

The offensive explosion continued in the second period, as Colorado managed three goals in only eight minutes. Carl Soderberg scored on a slick breakaway move, Nathan Mackinnon wristed in a rebound shot and Colborne tipped in a shot which originated from a Nikita Zadorov point shot.

Hats rained down on the ice after Colborne’s third goal, the first NHL hat-trick of his career. The score also chased Dallas goalie Antti Niemi out of the game, as he was replaced by Kari Lehtonen in a coach’s decision.

While poor goaltending has been Dallas’ downfall in recent seasons, the change to Lehtonen helped spark the team in this contest. Former Art Ross Trophy winning forward Jamie Benn and his talented running mate, Seguin, would each score in the second period, cutting the lead to 5-4.

The two teams traded goals in the third, allowing the Avalanche to emerge as the 6-5 victors. While the game marked initial Colorado debuts for ex-Pioneers Colborne and Patrick Wiercioch (one assist), it was also head coach Jared Bednar’s first NHL game behind the bench after replacing Patrick Roy in the offseason. The team’s new up-tempo play style was evident en route to the coach’s first win with the franchise.

Colorado’s next matchup sees the team embarking on an east-coast road trip, beginning with the reigning Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 17 at 5 p.m.