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Rookie Camp Opener Filled With Firsts For Golden Knights

Looking at all of the milestones achieved by Vegas during Tuesday's Rookie Camp opener against the Kings

by Gary Lawless @GoldenKnights /

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - It wasn't T-Mobile Arena or another of the NHL's ice palaces. It wasn't a regular season game or even a pre-season tilt for that matter. But it was history in the making as players in the Vegas Golden Knights organization played in the first game in franchise history on Tuesday evening.

The final score, 6-2 for the prospects of the Los Angeles Kings over the Golden Knights rookie camp roster, was far less significant than the event itself.

Bill Foley likely wasn't thinking of a twin-pad practice rink in an industrial park tucked into a Los Angeles suburb when he stroked a check to the NHL for his expansion fee but just the same it was another step in a dream which is now a reality.

The Golden Knights opened rookie camp last Thursday and after a spate of on-ice sessions at City National Arena in Las Vegas boarded a pair of buses for Los Angeles on Monday night.

Rocky Thompson, head coach of the club's AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves, has been leading rookie camp on the ice and was at the helm on Tuesday evening for the first of a pair of games against the prospects of the Los Angeles Kings.

Here's our list of firsts for the Golden Knights on this historical day.

First morning skate: The Golden Knights rookie camp roster hit the ice at 10:30 a.m. PT and took a brisk twirl before Thompson gave his whistle a blast to signal then of the session.

First game jersey appearance: The Golden Knights broke out a set of the team's white road jerseys replete with white gloves. Stylish, sharp and historical.


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: For the record books: The first moments of hockey in Golden Knights franchise history.


First pre-game speech: Rocky Thompson addressed the group around 3:30 p.m. PT before sending them on to the ice for the warmup.

First warmup bench interview: Cody Glass spoke to on the visitors bench.

First starting lineup: Reid Duke, Tyler Wong, Alex Tuch, Nic Hague, Jake Bischoff and Logan Thompson.

First save: Logan Thompson turned away Spencer Watson's attempt in the first minute of action.

First shot on goal: Tomas Hyka with just 1:15 expired in the first period. The shot just happened to result in a goal.

First goal: Tomas Hyka. Hyka blew into the Kings zone shed a defender and then put slick deke on Cal Petersen before scoring the first goal in franchise history.


Video: Tomas Hyka scores the first goal in VGK history


First penalty: Nic Hague got tagged for holding at 8:52 of the first period.

First penalty kill: The Golden Knights killed off Hague's infraction.

First crunch: Keegan Kolesar hammered Kings forward Drake Rymsha along the wall seemingly cutting him in half. Rymsha labored to the L.A. bench.

First fight: Kolesar couldn't get out of the shift without having to answer for throwing a clean check. Kings prospect Boko Imama demanded a fight and Kolesar obliged. Edge to Imama.


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: We're packing punch on the scoreboard and on the ice.Keegan Kolesar with the first VGK fight��


First goalie change: Logan Thompson played a clean 30 minutes and 58 seconds before making way for Jiri Patera at 10:58 of the second period.

First penalty shot: Tyler Wong was hauled down on a clean break and was awarded a penalty shot.

First goal against: Kings forward Matt Luff beat Patera on the power play.

First loss: The Kings exploded for six goals against Patera to take the win.

First post-game coach quote: "We started well. We were excited and the guys were ready," said Thompson. "We took too many penalties and sometimes early in the season you're penalty kill is going to get scored on."

First post-game GM quote: "I was proud to see our jerseys out there," said McPhee. "Losing 6-2, I don't want to lose 6-2. I'm not very happy right now. I'm trying to keep it in perspective. It's a preseason rookie game. But I don't like losing in that manner. I'm not very happy right now."

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