weather icon Clear

Fans rally to send off Golden Knights to Los Angeles

Updated April 14, 2018 - 7:23 pm

After the Golden Knights’ double-overtime win Friday night, the team left for Los Angeles Saturday with a 2-0 series lead and the support of hundreds of fans wishing them luck.

Droves of Las Vegas fans lined up Saturday afternoon outside of City National Arena in Downtown Summerlin to send off their hometown Knights as they continue the series against the Los Angeles Kings on the road.

Fans chanted “Go Knights, go” and “Beat LA” as the players whose jerseys many of them wore — Deryk Engelland, Reilly Smith and David Perron, to name a few — drove past and waved. Team owner Bill Foley, wearing a black Golden Knights tee, sunglasses and khakis, estimated there were between 1,500 and 1,600 people in attendance.

“We’ve worked hard to be part of the community, and to have the community support us this way is just great,” he said.

Justin and Lynnanne Knippel waved Golden Knights flags as the Knight Line drum line rat-a-tat-tatted in marching order in front of them. Neither was a hockey fan before the Knights came to town, but now that the team is here, the couple is ready to cheer them all the way to a Stanley Cup victory. They’re buying season tickets for next season, they said.

The Knights are the first major sports team Las Vegas residents could call their own, Justin Knippel said, with his wife adding the team and the fans have a strong bond.

“I don’t know if it exists anywhere else with other teams,” Lynnanne Knippel said.

The team gave the city something to rally around after the Oct. 1 mass shooting on the Strip, she said, and their success has been a nice bonus.

“You feel like you’re part of their story, too,” she said.

Yvette Reyes, 40, said she brought her family to send-off to cheer on the Golden Knights and “send them a little bit of Vegas love.” Like the Knippels and many others, the Reyes family is new to hockey fandom.

Michael Reyes, 37, never attended a team sendoff before and was surprised at the large turnout. Their 9-year-old son, Jacob, was swimming in a gray jersey that draped down to his knees. Asked who wins the series, Jacob had a ready answer.

“Knights,” he said, adding his favorite player is goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Playoff series tend to stoke the flames of rivalries, and one fan embraced the budding rivalry between the Knights and the Kings in a unique way.

He donned a number 28 jersey, forward Will Carrier’s number, but with the name “DOUGHTY SLYR” stitched on the back. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was suspended for Friday’s game after an illegal hit to Carrier’s head in game 1.

He picked up the custom jersey before Friday’s game, and he plans to wear it on Tuesday when he attends game 4 in Los Angeles.

He and his wife, Shalom Stephens, moved to Las Vegas from Vermont a year ago Sunday. She cheered for the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens before moving here, but she’s added the Golden Knights to her favorite teams.

“This is the best thing that we could have to help welcome us to the city,” he said.

A handful of fans grouped around a Metropolitan Police Department officer handing out Knights car flags. One of the fans, Alvaro Rivas, 29, grew up in Anaheim watching the Ducks, but he has now lived in Las Vegas for several years and backs the Golden Knights. He still has family out in Anaheim, so it’s fun to tease them as rival fans.

“It’s history in the making,” he said.

As Knights forward James Neal drove by, Foley, the team owner, waved and called out a friendly, “Hey! There goes Neal.”

Dozens of fans nearby whistled and whooped as he looped his sports car through the winding path out of the packed practice facility lot.

“They’re all in, aren’t they?” Foley said.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights Movie Premier Remembers Why the City is 'Vegas Strong' - Video
Golden Knights fans will be treated to an exclusive viewing of 'Valiant,' on Sunday, Nov. 17. The documentary highlights the Vegas Golden Knights' remarkable run to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final after the team unified Las Vegas in wake of tragedy.
Golden Edge Mailbag | November 14th, 2019
The Review-Journal's Ben Gotz and Adam Hill are back for a new rendition of the Golden Edge mailbag! Send in your VGK questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Golden Knights to honor "Miracle on Ice" team
The Golden Knights will honor the 1980 USA Olympic men’s hockey team on the 40th anniversary of its “Miracle on Ice” victory against the Soviet Union next year. On Feb. 22, a public event with the 1980 team will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center that will include video of never-before-seen moments from its implausible run at Lake Placid, New York. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Alex Tuch Returns to Practice After Second Injury - Video
Golden Knights right wing Alex Tuch returned to practice on Tuesday afternoon. Tuch missed the last four games due to an upper-body injury sustained in the team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 3.
Golden Knights Know They Need to Play More Dominant Style of Hockey - Video
The Golden Knights recent road trip turned out to be an unsuccessful one, as the team went 1-3 away from home. Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch says one of the problems lately has been that his team is just trying to win games, instead of completely dominating their opponents.
Alex Tuch And Nate Schmidt Return To The Ice - Video
Alex Tuch and Nate Schmidt return to practice as the team becomes more energized after their win against the Anaheim Ducks.
Golden Knights Watch Party At Las Vegas Ballpark - Video
The Golden Knights host a watch party at the Las Vegas Ballpark where fans gathered to watch the game against the Pittsburg Penguins.
Golden Edge Mailbag | October 17th, 2019
The Review-Journal's Ben Gotz and Cassie Soto are back for a new rendition of the Golden Edge mailbag! Send in your VGK questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Malcom Subban Day-To-Day, Gallant Talks Golden Knights' Goaltenders - VIDEO
After suffering an undisclosed lower body injury in a loss to the Arizona Coyotes, Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban was announced as having a day-to-day injury when head coach Gerard Gallant spoke about his goaltenders after practice.
Golden Knights lose 4-1 to Coyotes - VIDEO
The Golden Knights lost 4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale. VGK Goalie Malcolm Subban exited the game early with an injury and is Day-to-day.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant knows Coyotes are "very aggressive" - Video
The Golden Knights will head to Arizona to face the Coyotes on Thursday with hopes to bounce back from Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Bruins. Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant is fully aware that the Coyotes are a very aggressive team and knows his guys will have to match that speed.
Golden Knights Feast on Shark - Video
After swimming with (and defeating) the Sharks in their first two games of the season, the entire Vegas Golden Knights team feasted on their fair share of seafood at Zuma Las Vegas inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Golden Knights Greet Fans At Gold Carpet - Video
The Golden Knights walk the gold carpet before puck drop at their season opener against the San Jose Sharks at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights Hold Private Practice, Lunch for 1 October First Responders - Video
The Golden Knights held a private practice at City National Arena for first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and guests who were affected by the 1 October events. After practice, guests were able to meet the Golden Knights themselves to take pictures and get autographs.
Golden Knights Prepare to Honor Those Affected by 1 October - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams upcoming practice which will honor those affected by the events on October 1, 2017. The team has invited guests including first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and others who were impacted. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon Discusses Roster Updates - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams roster and key injuries ahead of Opening Day (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Golden Knights Max Pacioretty on the Golden Edge Podcast - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty joins the Golden Edge podcast to talk about the upcoming season for the Knights, the rivalry with the Sharks and the Pacioretty 67 burger.
Golden Knights Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin Injured in Preseason Loss to Kings
The Golden Knights not only lost to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Friday night, the team also saw Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin head off the ice with injuries. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz give an update on the players injuries as well as discuss what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Suffer Second Preseason Loss to the Kings - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's second loss of the preseason, this time to the LA Kings 3-2. Head coach Gerard Gallant knows his team got off to a sloppy start but was impressed with the final effort.
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves wants to play in the pre-season - VIDEO
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves talks about coming back from an injury and a possible long term deal with the team. September 26, 2019.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gallant speaks on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant speaks after practice on September 26, 2019, on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games.
Golden Knights Suffer First Preseason Loss to Avalanche, 4-1 - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's first preseason loss, after falling to the Avalanche 4-1. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz break down what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights React to First Preseason Loss - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant called the first loss of the preseason a "team loss" that was "tough to watch."
Paul Stastny On Playing More Games - Video
Golden Knights forward Paul Stastny talks about preparing for the regular season and playing more games before the season starts.
Golden Knights Nate Schmidt Talks About Seeking Change With PED Testing - Video
The Golden Knights wrap up their practice for the day and Nate Schmidt hoping to see changes to PED testing.
Nate Schmidt On Wanting Change With PED Testing - Video
Nate Schmidt speaks about wanting to see change with PED testing in the NHL.
Fleury and Marchessault Play Heads Up - Video
Golden Knights Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault play heads up VGK edition.
Aliens invade City National Arena for competition - VIDEO
Aliens attended the City National Arena for a competition to see who was best dressed. The prize was out of this world. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights rally to beat Kings in OT, 3-2
The Golden Knights were down 2-0 halfway through the third period, but two quick goals helped get the team back on track to beat the Kings 3-2 in overtime.
Golden Knights' Deryk Engelland Shares Advice with Rookies - Video
Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland has some advice for rookies: “Stick with what got you there.” The veteran NHL player also recalls his first goal as a pro.
Golden Knights Continue Preseason Success with Win Over Avalanche - Video
The Golden Knights prospects are continuing to prove they are worthy of a starting position, this time with a shutout 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant Praises Prospects - Video
A day after the Golden Knights 6-2 preseason victory over the Arizona Coyotes, head coach Gerard Gallant discussed how impressed he is with the prospects, including defensemen Nicolas Hague and Dylan Coghlan.