What A Knight: Vegas Wins First Stanley Cup Title

John Simmons | June 14, 2023
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The Vegas Golden Knights are this year’s golden standard in the National Hockey League (NHL).

The Western Conference champions are now the Stanley Cup champions after obliterating the Florida Panthers in Game 5 last night, winning by an astounding score of 9-3.

Vegas’ highly touted scoring depth was on full display, as seven different players scored a goal for the champs. Vegas winger and captain Mark Stone spearheaded the overwhelming offensive attack, recording the first hat trick in a Stanley Cup final game since Peter Forsberg did it for the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 (which was also against Florida). It was also the second-largest margin of victory in a title-clinching game, behind the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins, who won by eight goals.




Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, and Sam Bennett scored for the Panthers.

Vegas’ Jack Eichel, who is only two years removed from a highly-publicized neck surgery, was perhaps the most vindicated player on the team after the win.

"We did it. We're Stanley Cup champions, man," Eichel said after the final horn sounded. "I'm just so proud of our group and so happy to be a part of this organization and this city, with these fans. I feel really fortunate and blessed."

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Eichel’s line mate, Jonathan Marchessault, took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

For Vegas owner Bill Foley, the title has two added layers of satisfaction. Thanks to a friendly bet he made with Panthers owner Vincent Viola at the start of the series, the Folded Flag Foundation will receive $100,00 (the organization provides support to families that lost a loved one in combat).

Additionally, the title comes at the exact time Foley said the franchise would win its first title. When Vegas was founded in 2017, he predicted that it would be a very short time before the Golden Knights stood on top of the hockey world.

Not a bad guess, apparently.

After the game, Stone perfectly encapsulated what was running through his mind - and perhaps the minds of everyone who worked to win the most prestigious trophy in sports.

"I can't even describe the feelings in my stomach right now," Stone said. "It's everything you can imagine. The grind of an 82-game season, four playoff rounds, you grind and you grind and you grind, and at the end of the day, you're the last team standing. It's incredible."

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