Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 | 5:03 p.m.
The Golden Knights opened their inaugural preseason Sunday with a scoring barrage, blasting the host Vancouver Canucks, 9-4.
Rookie forward Tyler Wong nabbed the first hat trick in team history, albeit in exhibition play, with three goals and an assist.
“The way I approach the game is I play every shift like its my last,” Wong told Golden Knights insider Gary Lawless. “I’m not worried about the future right now.”
Most of the veteran players didn’t make the trip for Vegas, allowing the rookies and young players to get experience. General Manager George McPhee said he doesn’t anticipate the veterans playing until later in the preseason.
Sixth-overall draft pick Cody Glass shined with two flashy assists including a back-handed saucer pass that set up Wong on the first goal of the game. Glass was everywhere on the ice, controlling the flow of play on nearly every shift.
Fellow first round pick Nick Suzuki added a goal and an assist of his own, and second round pick Nick Hague found Paul Thompson for a goal in the third period.
The Golden Knights wasted no time finding the back of the net, scoring the first goal 4:58 into the game and four goals in the opening period alone. Defenseman Brad Hunt assisted on three of the four first-period goals.
Vegas cashed in on three of their nine power plays in a game that had nearly 50 combined penalty minutes. The Golden Knights out shot Vancouver 38-33 and never trailed.
Despite giving up four goals, rookie goaltender Dylan Ferguson looked impressive with 29 saves.
While it’s only a preseason game, and almost no one that was on the ice will be suiting up in the NHL this year, it was a great start for the franchise.
“It was really exciting,” said Brendan Leipsic, who led all forwards with 21 minutes of ice time. “It’s been a long time coming for the organization, so to finally put it all on the ice is cool.”
Next up for the Golden Knights is a trip to Colorado, where they face the Avalanche at 6 p.m. Tuesday.