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Hurricane Force
MICHAEL FARBER
June 26, 2006
With a rollicking crowd behind it, high-energy Carolina controlled Game 7, blunting Edmonton's comeback bid and delivering a hockey championship to Tobacco Road
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June 26, 2006

Hurricane Force

With a rollicking crowd behind it, high-energy Carolina controlled Game 7, blunting Edmonton's comeback bid and delivering a hockey championship to Tobacco Road

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Yet in Game 6 the Hurricanes fell meekly, 4-0. "We were pretty paralyzed," Laviolette would say on Sunday. They were outshot 21-3 with six minutes left in the second period. They took a pair of too-many-men-on-the-ice penalties, the kind that announce to the world that the players' minds were elsewhere. Cole played 18:31, in all situations, and on his second shift withstood a robust check by Moreau that Cole later said smacked of head-hunting.

"We were inspired even if the results don't show it," Carolina defenseman Mike Commodore said the day after the Game 6 loss. "It was big for us to see [ Cole] come out on the ice. Then to see him go down [on the hit by Moreau] and jump right back up, I kind of caught my breath. I thought, He's all right, good to go. We didn't turn it into anything positive, but we can change that [in Game 7]."

Indeed, on a sweltering night in what is now officially hockey country, the Hurricanes took their courage from Cole. For a franchise that was launched 34 years ago as the New England Whalers, has been a member of two leagues (the WHA and NHL) and has played its home games in five cities ( Boston; Springfield, Mass.; Hartford; Greensboro, N.C.; and Raleigh), maybe the coolest trophy in the world can serve as an anchor for the team and for big league hockey in the South.

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