SEE IT: Islanders' Cole Bardreau Scores First NHL Goal On Penalty Shot

Alec Gearty
November 06, 2019 - 9:18 am

Islanders forward Cole Bardreau waited years to commemorate his first professional goal. 

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Bardreau found himself standing at center ice as he prepared for his penalty shot. He was previously hauled down by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki and faced a prime opportunity to give the Islanders, who won 10 straight games, their first lead of the game.

He skated down the left side of ice towards Senators goaltender Craig Anderson and converted after he found an opening between Anderson's legs. Since 1934, only six players had ever scored their first goal via penalty shot before Bardreau's tally, according to NHL's Public Relations. 

He unleashed a scream as the puck lay in the back of the net, rejoicing in his first goal. Bardreau celebrated by high-fiving the entire bench and embraced with forward Derick Brassard for a hug. Islanders assistant coach Lane Lambert provided the 26-year-old with a fist bump and a few taps of the helmet. 

"If you see the bench when it went in, I think everybody was hugging, jumping up and down," forward Casey Cizikas told reporters after the game. "That was a huge goal. That was a well-deserved goal. I don't think there's a single guy in here upset for him. He's earned every single minute he's been on the ice here. That was a big goal and one that he'll remember forever."

Before Bardreau was signed as an undrafted free agent, he overcame a devastating injury. He sustained a fractured vertibrae in two parts of his neck stemming from a hit during his sophomore campaign. Bardreau was reportedly nearly paralyzed as a result of the incident. 

He inked a deal in the AHL after a career season, where he tallied 22 points in 30 games with Cornell University. 

Bardreau spent the last five seasons in the American Hockey League, where he played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms — the Flyers' minor league affiliate. He sought a fresh start with the Islanders' organization and signed a two-year, two-way deal during the offseason. The Fairport, NY native started his tenure with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers but a slew of injuries led Bardreau to a spot in the Islanders' lineup. 

"To do it in that fashion, I can't stop smiling," Bardreau told reporters. "I'm not going to lie. I was pretty nervous there, looking up. I just gripped it and ripped it and it went in."