Vegas Golden Knights: The Beginning of an Epic Tale
Tonight was a night of many emotions and celebrations. Just prior to face off of the inaugural home game of the Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL’s newest expansion team in Las Vegas, a 58- second moment of silence was held for the 58 victims of the deadly massacre October 1st. There after, survivors of the shooting came out to center ice to sing our country’s National Anthem. On the ice were the names of the victims that were put there by the players. The team was introduced along with first responders as the emotions were sky high.
But that wasn’t it! Once the game started, the players kept emotions riding high.
Not even 2.5 minutes into the game, thinking that they had turnover, the Arizona Coyotes got caught off guard. When in reality the puck was pushed up to Tomas Nosek who shot one past the goalie and, BOOM! That’s one goal!
The crowd erupted and it felt indescribable. But the best has yet to happen as less than 3 minutes later, BOOM , Deryk Engelland added another goal making the score 2-0. Back to back goals in 4:27 giving the Knights an awesome start.
“It was probably one of the more emotional moments of my life,” Engelland said. “I probably don’t plan on scoring in too many games, but to get that one was pretty special.”
Neal, who scored the first goal in franchise history, made it 3-0 just 6:15 into the first period. Neal added the first power-play goal in franchise history 4:27 later, setting off roars of excitement in T-Mobile Arena.
The Golden Knights took a commanding 4-1 lead after the first 20 minutes of regular season NHL action in Las Vegas.
James Neal scored twice during a thrilling four-goal first period, and the Golden Knights go on to win 5-2 and remained unbeaten becoming the first team in NHL history to begin their debut season with three straight wins.
“There was so much emotion, but we tried to stay focused on hockey, even though it was bigger than hockey,” Neal said. “This is our town. We’re making it our home, and we want it to be a hockey town.”
“We talked about tonight being the most important game we’ll ever play,” NHL coach Gerard Gallant said. “A lot of guys, we’re playing for our city. We’re playing for the tragedy that happened, for all the people that were here tonight and affected by the tragedy. I thought our guys did a hell of a job. They came out and they focused on the game. They focused from the start.”