Canadian hockey fans are probably familiar with a “Gordie Howe hat trick” – a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.
Although there’s no direct equivalent in soccer, Olivier Occean came pretty close for FC Kaiserslautern on Saturday. He opened the scoring for his team, his first goal of the season, then set up their second and picked up a yellow card before being subbed out in the 65th minute.
Can we call it an “Olivier Occean hat trick”? OK, maybe not. In any event, he wasn’t the only Canadian performing heroics across the pond this week.
Tam Nsaliwa scored both goals in Bucaspor’s 2-1 victory on Saturday – the winner was a remarkable 90th-minute free-kick blast from 35 yards. Teammate Tosaint Ricketts was held off the score sheet this week, but the pair of Edmontonians has now combined for five goals this season for the Turkish club.
A bit further west, Pedro Pacheco also potted the winner for his club, scoring the only goal in CD Santa Clara’s 1-0 victory on Saturday. Meanwhile, Marcus Haber scored his second goal of the season for Notts County, adding the final tally in their 4-0 win after coming on as a second-half substitute.
The other Haber, Daniel Haber, scored for the second straight week, netting the winner for Apollon Limassol in their 2-0 league victory on Monday. While he didn’t feature for his club in their Europa League match on Thursday, his goal-scoring form could earn the 21-year-old some European minutes as group-stage play continues.
Another youngster, Michael Petrasso, also netted a winner for his side Monday, as his 75th-minute goal lifted Queens Park Rangers’ U-21 side to a 3-2 win. Next up for Petrasso and QPR teammate Dylan Carreiro, heading to their first training camp with the senior men’s national team, ahead of next week’s friendly against Australia.
Defender Daniel Stanese of FC Augsburg II has also been called into camp for Canada, the CSA announced on the weekend. He represented Canada at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, and was with the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency until 2012. He’ll be replacing an injured Dejan Jakovic on the roster.
Over in Italy, young goalkeeper Roberto Stillo had a wild day at the office for Perugia on Sunday. He was forced into the game in the 32nd minute after starting ’keeper Jan Koprivec was sent off – and immediately had to face a penalty kick. While he was unable to stop the spot kick, nine-man Perugia did manage to scrape out a 2-2 draw.
Fellow goalkeeper David Monsalve earned a clean sheet for AC Oulu in their final game of the season on Saturday. But elsewhere in Finland, things were a bit bleaker for Canadians: Roger Thompson and Charlie Trafford were both part of IFK Mariehamn’s 5-1 drubbing on Saturday, while Frank Jonke’s FF Jaro went down 3-0 on Sunday for their seventh straight loss.
Milan Borjan earned a clean sheet for Sivasspor on Wednesday in Turkish Cup play, but wasn’t in the lineup for the team’s league match on Sunday.
Fellow Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld is finding it even tougher to get playing time for his club, as he once again rode the bench for Valerenga this week. In fact, Hirschfeld has only started one of Valerenga’s 26 matches this season.