Behind The Scenes

SportsCenter’s Cohn on Rangers’ dramatic win, hockey fandom

SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn is a diehard New York Rangers fan.

The New York Rangers are one victory away from reaching the NHL Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1997.

Even if the Rangers win Game 6 of their best-of-seven series with the host Washington Capitals tonight, they will be hard pressed to eclipse the drama surrounding their Game 5 overtime victory in New York on Monday night.

Linda Cohn (r) drinking from the Stanley Cup.

The Rangers rallied to tie the game with 6.6 seconds remaining in regulation, and then escaped with an overtime goal and 3-2 win.

SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn, a longtime Rangers fan, rode the emotional roller coaster with her fellow Blueshirt loyalists.

“When the Rangers tied, I was jumping up and down and screaming,” she recalled Tuesday. “When the Rangers won in OT, there was more screaming and a lot of texting with my daughter and sister. This victory will mean a heck of a lot more if they win the series.”

Cohn lives hockey: As a senior at Newfield (N.Y.) High School, she served as the goalie on the boys’ ice hockey team and in college on the SUNY at Oswego women’s team.

Cohn shared some background on her hockey fandom with Front Row.

How did you develop your love of hockey?
Through my dad. I grew up on Long Island and my dad loved his New York sports teams. He lived and died with the Rangers. I adopted that from him. My whole life is connected that way. I am emotionally drawn in and have lived the roller coaster ride of a Rangers fan for four decades. My dad is no longer with me but I often think of him.

How did you manage to drink from the Rangers’ Stanley Cup in 1994?
I attended Game 7 though I didn’t even have a seat. When the game was over, I received a tip that the Rangers were downstairs in the Garden celebrating with the Cup. I went down, noticed [New York sportscaster] Bruce Beck, whom I knew, there and he let me in. My good fortune kept coming. The Cup was there in a roped off area, I was recognized since I’m such a big Rangers fan, I was let under the rope, handed the Cup and I drank from it. A photographer was there and took my picture. It was one of the best moments of my life, right up there with giving birth to my two children.

What’s your most cherished piece of sports memorabilia?
My most prized possession is a Mark Messier autographed cover of the NY Daily News photo of him holding the Cup in 1994. “To Linda one of our greatest fans.” It’s framed and in a place of honor in my den.

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