Joey Daccord of the Seattle Kraken celebrates with Jordan Eberle and Oliver Bjorkstrand. Steph Chambers/Getty Images CNN —
Arriving dressed as Elvis Presley impersonators, the Las Vegas Golden Knights were not so much as hoping to party but to spoil the party for the Seattle Kraken hosting their first ever NHL Winter Classic.
For the Kraken, as the league’s newest franchise, the Winter Classic was an opportunity to test themselves on one of the sport’s biggest stages, and they duly wrapped their tentacles around the game, squeezing any life out of it and taking a comfortable 3-0 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion.
As always, the Winter Classic transformed into a festival-like celebration of ice hockey, attended by more than 47,000 fans and featuring everything from a ship capsized by a kraken’s tentacles in the middle of the field to fishmongers throwing fish to each other while players walked in between, as well as the Elvis impersonators.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights arrived dressed as Elvis Presley. Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Getty Images
On the rink, Eeli Tolvanen had a goal and an assist for the Kraken while Will Borgen and Yanni Gourde added a goal apiece.
Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord produced an MVP performance, making 35 saves for the first shutout in Winter Classic history and fifth overall in the NHL’s 39 outdoor games since 2003.
“It was a special day for everybody – for our team, for the city, for hockey,” Daccord said afterwards, according to the NHL.
“Today was an incredible day and just so grateful to be a part of it. … It was something that I’ll never forget and probably one of the coolest days of my whole life,” added Daccord.
The Kraken have now won five consecutive games and are on a franchise record nine-point streak as they move to within a point of the second wild card spot for the Stanley Cup playoffs, continuing their turnaround from a disappointing start to the season.
The Seattle Kraken arrived dressed as fisherman. Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Getty Images
“You can’t equate it to playoff hockey but in terms of sporting events, I mean, it was pretty awesome … just the energy in the stadium throughout the hockey game,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol told reporters after the game.
“Obviously we got off to a good start so that continued to fuel it, but just the spectacle and the feel for the event itself was, you know, was outstanding.”
Although the Knights remain top of the Western Conference, tied with the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche, this loss was their fifth in sixth games and extended their mid-season slump.