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Stanley Cup Final

Golden Knights mania hits newborn unit for Stanley Cup Final

Mascot delivers onesies to Vegas babies

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

LAS VEGAS -- Shanni and Tucker Morgan rested in their room at Summerlin Hospital, their newborn son, Boadie Benjamin Morgan, in Dad's arms. They heard a soft knock on the door, and then in walked Chance, the Gila monster mascot of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Silently, Chance high-fived Mom and gave Boadie a black "VEGAS BORN" onesie. He took Boadie from Dad, held him for a moment and posed for pictures, then headed off to another room. Through it all, Boadie slept like a, well …

Vegas baby.

"Might be a future Golden Knight," Tucker said.

Chance delivered about 100 onesies to Summerlin Hospital on Tuesday with the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. They lead the Washington Capitals 1-0 in the best-of-7 series entering Game 2 here Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The Golden Knights are Las Vegas' first major league sports team. An NHL expansion team, they were not relocated from elsewhere, and so they have branded themselves as "Vegas Born."

They have united a community of natives and transplants, and created new hockey fans or turned casual fans into hardcore fans. These kids will be able to say they were fans from birth, and will have the pictures to prove it.

The Morgans had lived in the San Bernardino area in Southern California. They went to a few Anaheim Ducks games, but being about an hour and a half away, they didn't follow the Ducks closely.

About a year ago, the Morgans moved to Las Vegas because Tucker was transferred for work.

"We weren't sure if we were going to like it or not, coming from Southern California, but we've fallen in love with it," Tucker said. "Kind of growing up ourselves in Vegas in this last year with the Golden Knights has been a lot of fun, because we've seen them take hold of the city."

Shanni and Tucker took their first-born son, Carter, almost 2, to a game at T-Mobile Arena and bought Golden Knights gear. It helped make them feel a part of their new community.

"That definitely kind of brought a sense of pride to our presence in the city," Tucker said.

It was Carter's first sporting event. About 15 rows from the ice, he sat through the entire game. Shanni said he clapped when he was supposed to clap and yelled, "Woo-hoo!" Now when they watch games on TV, he sits next to Dad and says, "Hockey! Hockey!"

"It's not like we weren't hockey fans before," Shanni said. "It's just that now it's a whole new thing."

Boadie was born at 8:21 a.m. Sunday, 8 pounds, 12 ounces. He "watched" his first game in the hospital room Monday when the Golden Knights won 6-4 in Game 1. Dad moved his bassinet near the television and snapped a picture. The only problem was not cheering too loud.

"I was trying to be as quiet as I could, yeah," Tucker said.


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