As the calendar year comes to a close soon, it's time to take a look back at the Vegas Golden Knights and celebrate their top five moments from 2017. It's been an exciting year for the NHL's newest franchise, and it's been a thrill ride for hockey fans in Sin City, too. Already, it's hard to imagine life in Las Vegas without the Golden Knights lighting the lamp at T-Mobile Arena every week.
Head Coach Gerard Gallant and his resilient squad have helped the city recover from tragedy as well, and that cannot be underestimated as a reason why the lights in Las Vegas continue to shine bright this holiday season. While the NFL's Raiders and the WNBA's Aces are soon to join the Golden Knights in Sin City as professional sports franchises, the city will remember its NHL team first and foremost.
Without further adieu, here are the top five moments for the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017.
5. The Draft
Back on June 21, the Vegas roster finally took shape as the Golden Knights selected its first players in the NHL's Expansion Draft. It was exciting after a year of waiting and building expectation. General Manager George McPhee did an excellent job at selecting some core players, although he had plenty more moves up his sleeve before the season started off so well for the team.
4. First Shootout Win
This moment happened most recently, on December 5 at home against the Anaheim Ducks—the five-time defending champions of the Pacific Division, where the Golden Knights are now in second place. The exuberance displayed by goaltender Malcolm Subban after securing the win was infectious, to both the hometown fans in attendance and the television-viewing audience everywhere. Meanwhile, Alex Tuch became the answer to a trivia question that every Vegas NHL fan better remember.
3. First Overtime Victory
In just their second game ever, the Golden Knights found themselves in overtime on the road against the Arizona Coyotes on October 7. For some reason, the NHL scheduled the expansion Vegas squad for back-to-back road games on consecutive nights to open the season. The Golden Knights were tired, but they rallied in the third period, with defenseman Nate Schmidt scoring the tying goal with just 1:12 left in regulation. Then, it was veteran wing James Neal, burying the winning shot to give Vegas its first-ever overtime win.
2. First Win in Franchise History
Every sports organization immortalizes its first moment of success, and for the Golden Knights, it came on October 6 in Dallas—the team's NHL regular-season debut. Winning on the road in the first game ever for an expansion team is pretty awesome, and it was Neal who scored both the franchise's first goal and the game-winning goal. In net, veteran goalie and three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury made 45 saves and stood tall all game. It was a magical night.
1. First Home-Ice Victory
This was an incredible evening, as the Vegas club returned from its opening two games on the road to play its first-ever game on home ice at T-Mobile Arena. From the moments of incredible silence in honor of #VegasStrong straight until the final horn, the Golden Knights owned the Coyotes for 60 minutes. The home team jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first ten minutes or so of game action—and never looked back. #VegasStrong, indeed.
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