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And even with the team trailing the Washington

Aaron and Rhonda Hawley never truly embraced how much the Vegas Golden Knights meant to them until late in the season.

On March 29 [url=http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-arden-key-jersey]http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-arden-key-jersey[/url] , their 17-year-old daughter Brooke and two classmates were killed in a traffic accident in Huntington Beach, California. Since then, the Golden Knights have helped the Hawleys during their grieving process.

And even with the team trailing the Washington Capitals 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final, they and thousands of others haven’t lost hope and are sticking by their first-year team until the last horn sounds. Aaron Hawley said that’s how his little girl would want it.

”Her being a soccer player, she would kick a girl in the shin with one second left in the championship game if that’s what it took,” Hawley said Wednesday. ”Brooke was a fighter, and that’s what this team is about [url=http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-albert-wilson-jersey]http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-albert-wilson-jersey[/url] , it never gives up to the very last second.”

On Wednesday, for the team’s first practice in Las Vegas since being pushed to the brink of elimination, fans decked out in team jerseys and hats and knights helmets and kids with hockey sticks or pucks in their hands packed the Knights’ practice facility before they even took the ice. And 45 minutes before the scheduled practice, with nothing in front of them but a fresh sheet of ice, the fans broke into a chant of ”Go Knights Go!” Game 5 is Thursday night.

”We have a chance to play in front of our fans like we have all year long, use that energy to show them that we are also proud to be here and do something great for the city,” said Knights center Pierre Edouard-Bellemare. ”The city has our backs. I’m not worried about that situation whatsoever. It’s us to the city [url=http://www.authenticsnewyorkjets.com/cheap-chris-herndon-jersey]Chris Herndon Color Rush Jersey[/url] , we want to win for them. Once again, it’s one game. That’s all we have to think right now.”

Fan Jerrald Larkin, whose own daughter, Allyssa, played soccer with Brooke Hawley, said he started watching hockey in 1989 and was originally a Los Angeles Kings fan. ”But when VGK became a reality it was all in for them,” he said. ”VGK has been such a great team and this year has been nothing short of amazing. Right from the beginning this year has been filled with many emotions and some ups and downs. There is no way we can count our team out and we are VGK proud with any outcome.”

Larkin said he and his wife [url=http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-durham-smythe-jersey]http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-durham-smythe-jersey[/url] , Theresa, and their four daughters have been able to grow closer to many other fans because of hockey. While Theresa’s family is from Chicago and has been following sports their whole lives, Jerrald is from Vegas and never had a home team to cheer for other than the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels basketball team.

Hawley’s dedication to the team led him and his wife to follow the Golden Knights to Washington, where they watched Game 3 at a restaurant and attended Game 4 at Capital One Arena.

”As a native Las Vegan, I’m thrilled to see Golden Knights hockey get as much attention as the 1990 UNLV basketball team got,” Hawley said. ”I consider that a huge accomplishment. I’m worried next year what’s going to happen, because what fans don’t realize is what this eight-month team has accomplished [url=http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-russell-bodine-jersey]http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-russell-bodine-jersey[/url] , is something the Capitals have been waiting on for 44 years.”

But it’s the handful of games he attended with Brooke by his side that will forever be imprinted in his mind.

”With soccer practice, and a young girl’s social calendar, she made as many games as she could,” Hawley said, fighting back tears. ”How wonderful it was to sit with her, cheering on our hometown team. She really enjoyed it. We actually got her extra tickets for one game to bring her friend A.J., who also died in the accident. Those are times I will cherish and thank the team for an unbelievable inaugural season. The memories.”



More Stanley Cup coverage: The NHL suspended Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson three games on Wednesday for an illegal hit on Pittsburgh’s Zach Aston-Reese.

The league announced the suspension less than 24 hours after Wilson broke Aston-Reese’s jaw with a violent collision near the Washington bench in the second period of Washington’s 4-3 Game 3 victory over the Penguins.

Aston-Reese was stickhandling near the Capitals bench when Wilson drilled the rookie with his left shoulder. The force propelled Wilson up into the Washington bench while Aston-Reese lay on the ice for several moments before skating off. He was later diagnosed with a concussion and a broken jaw.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety ruled Wilson made Aston-Reese’s head the initial point of contact during the collision [url=http://www.jetsfootballauthentics.com/sam-darnold-jersey-authentic]Youth Sam Darnold Jersey[/url] , pointing out that Wilson did not have to pivot to his left side to hit Aston-Reese.

The league said Aston-Reese made no sudden movement at the last second that made contact unavoidable. The league pointed out several ways Wilson could have finished the play legally only to instead launch himself at Aston-Reese.

”He extends up and into the hit unnecessarily,” the league said in a video.

While Wilson was not penalized during the game, the league’s Department of Player Safety called for a hearing on Wednesday.

This isn’t the first time this season Wilson has been disciplined by the league. He was forced to sit out two preseason games following a late hit on St. Louis Blues rookie Robert Thomas and was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for boarding Blues forward Sammy Blais shortly after his return.

The league pointed out Wilson’s status as a repeat offender as a factor in the length of the suspension it handed out.

Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday night in Pittsburgh.



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