Ian Cole was the most unlikely hero for Hurricanes in Game 1
The Carolina Hurricanes staged a late comeback on Wednesday night to win Game 1 of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series with the New York Rangers, and Ian Cole was the unlikely hero.
New York took the early lead on a first-period goal by Filip Chytil. They held the lead until Sebastian Aho scored to tie the game with around two and a half minutes left.
The game went to overtime, where Cole won it with a goal that surprised Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin — and probably everybody watching.
Ian Cole catches Igor Shesterkin by surprise and scores, Carolina wins in OT pic.twitter.com/T8JaJVv33K
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) May 19, 2022
What’s so surprising? The 33-year-old defenseman is known for everything but his goal-scoring abilities. In 12 NHL seasons, Cole has only scored 29 career regular season goals. This was just his second career postseason goal.
Cole’s other postseason goal was a big one too — it came in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
Ian Cole's only other postseason goal came with the Penguins in Game 4 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final against the Sharks: pic.twitter.com/rLsuvdTWDM
— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) May 19, 2022
The postgame celebration after Cole’s winner was a little much for the defenseman, but he allowed it given the circumstance.
The OT winner tonight was Ian Cole's first OT goal in the NHL, regular season or playoffs. He said he felt "a little claustrophobic" when his teammates mobbed him. His visor fogged and he had hair in his eyes, so he couldn't see.
"Probably the only time I like that," he said.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 19, 2022
The Hurricanes now lead 1-0 after turning a likely loss into a win.