“Little claustrophobic” – Hurricanes defenseman Ian Cole unlikely OT hero against Rangers in Game 1

Ian Cole has scored 29 goals in 670 regular-season games, including two in 75 with Carolina this season.

Ian Cole
Ian Cole

The Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ian Cole couldn’t see for a few seconds when he was being smothered by a swarm of teammates creating their kind of storm surge around him. This took place when Cole’s quick-flick wrist shot from the top of the right circle into the net at 3:12 of overtime for a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at PNC Arena on Wednesday.

This was a whole new experience for the Michigan native Cole, who is usually one of the players pouring over the boards to celebrate with a teammate who scores in overtime.

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“I was looking to pass it to someone and no one was really anywhere dangerous so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll just throw it on the net and see what happens,’ ” Cole said, as quoted by NHL.com. “Hockey is a game of weird bounces and it just happened to go in. Not the prettiest, but we’ll take it.”

“We came out with a lot of desperation and the right mindset”

Ian Cole
Ian Cole

The 33-year-old Cole’s score also marked only his second career playoff goal. His first came with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first period of Game 4 back in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks. 

We pride ourselves in playing a direct, north game and we did not get to that to the level that we wanted to,” Cole said. “I think one thing our team is good at is trying to be as objective as possible in assessing our game and realizing that wasn’t good enough. Just because we’re losing 1-0 doesn’t mean the game is over. We have a period here, let’s go do it the right way and do it how we want to and fix the problem. We came out with a lot of desperation and the right mindset and you see how the tide turned at that time.”

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