TRAVERSE CITY — Parker Hebden may have "park" in his first name, but he's started the season in high gear.
Hebden put up his second hat trick in his first three varsity games to lead Traverse City Central to a 5-2 Big North Conference victory over Petoskey.
"I didn't expect to start like this," said Hebden, who played Bantam AA last season. "Not at all."
The Trojans will take it.
Hebden's six goals through three contests tops Central's scoring leaders, thanks in part to a pair of goals that gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead 4:27 into the game.
"He's off to a good start," Central coach Chris Givens said. "He's highly-skilled, has a good hockey sense and has a nose for the net. When he doesn't have the puck, he's always got his stick in a good position. Like his second goal, the tip into the upper corner, he's always got himself in good position. Two goals like that, 30 seconds apart was big."
Alex Oliver set up both goals, with Joe Videki and Andrew Froese each assisting on one.
Hebden assisted on Cam Givens' goal with 1:19 left in the opening period. Givens — who has three goals and six points in three games — broke two Northmen sticks with hard slap shots.
Froese also drew an assist on Givens' goal and picked up his third on Hebden's final goal at 7:08 of the second.
"I was getting in front of the net and Andrew Froese was shooting them nice and low and I got a stick on them," Hebden said.
The Trojans limited the Northmen to two shots on goal in both the first and third periods.
"We played really well the first and third periods," Hebden said. "But the second, we kind of came out slow."