With the Pittsburgh Penguins season on the line, the most unlikely hero emerged from the shadows in what was one of the most impressive individual performances in NEFHL history.  Two rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, squared off in a must win game on Tuesday night. With the Penguins down 4-1 half way through the game, it looked as though the Pens were destined for a disappointing loss. 

"We are neck in neck with the Canes in the standings. Dropping that game would have been devastating." said team captain Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins lost a number of players due to injury, but nobody more important than two-way sparkplug, Brandon Hagel.  So far in 2022, Hagel has been riding shotgun with Crosby and with him out of the lineup, someone needed to step up.

Enter Ryan Lomberg, referred to by his teammates as the "Lomberghini".  Known for his abrasive, sandpaper style of play, Lomberg is the last player you'd think to contribute offensively. 

John Marino tickled the twine with a minute and a half left to play in the second period, bringing the score to 4-2. 

And then the impossible happened. The natural hattrick heard around the world. 

Flanking Crosby's right side, Lomberg scored three consecutive, highlight reel, goals to help the gold and black flightless birds win 5-4.  The first snipe was a reverse, backhand Michigan. The second saw Lomberg skate through at least 8 Hurricanes before putting a one handed backhander bar down. The hattrick goal came off a lacrosse style breakway dangle. 

"That was easily the best game I have ever played in my life. I don't think I can top that performance. I told the boys after the game that I met my quota for the year," said the Lomberghini. 

The Penguins match up against the Preds tonight.  With the Habs and Devils playing against two shit hole clubs tonight, the Penguins must win to stay in the hunt. 

More to come...