Leafs im­pressed by scene as Las Ve­gas be­gins NHL play

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - SPORTS - LANCE HORNBY

Tues­day was a wa­ter­shed evening for pro hockey in the South­west­ern U.S., with the home de­but of the Ve­gas Golden Knights. Ari­zonaraised Aus­ton Matthews watched the Knights play his child­hood team, the Coy­otes.

“The build­ing looked like it was ab­so­lutely rock­ing,” Matthews said of high­lights from the T-Mo­bile Arena. “I’d def­i­nitely love to see that.”

It was also a night for that re­gion to con­tinue the process of emo­tional heal­ing af­ter Amer­ica’s worst mass shoot­ing, a lone gun­man killing 58 and leav­ing nearly 500 wounded on The Strip. As the Knights were in­tro­duced, they were paired with a first re­spon­der or law en­force­ment of­fi­cial and both teams lined up be­hind the guests for the an­them.

“It looked awe­some,” Matthews said. “With the tragic in­ci­dent, you see all the sup­port from the teams they’ve played so far and the city and the build­ing. It doesn’t mat­ter where that kind of stuff hap­pens, you hear about it and it’s pretty sad and very un­for­tu­nate. I think the play­ers have been very strong about it and have done some very great things for the city.” Twit­ter: @ sun­gar­rioch

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