Over the course of the Vegas Golden Knights season, special fans emerged from the stands and became familiar faces in the Las Vegas community.
A couple of furry faces in particular stole fans' hearts. Bark-Andre Furry, famous for his moniker and energetic spirit, enjoyed making appearances at watch parties, practices and more. He boasts a large following of more than 16,900 fans on Instagram.
"To the team, thank you," Bark-Andre Furry's owner, Rick Williams said. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've given us something to be proud of."
Sir Winston, a friendly and obedient 'doodle' dog, impressed Knights' fans with fun tricks. He can be spotted with his friend Bark-Andre Furry every now and then.
A Las Vegas artist was recognized for his impressive illustrations. Juan Muñiz, a.k.a Ninobuni, captivated fans with his creative Golden Knights' drawings. His art work can bee seen on official Vegas Golden Knights merchandise including t-shirts, pucks, prints and more.
"With every game that passed by it got even harder to thank them because they kept doing so much for us," Muñiz said.
Drew Johnson became a sensation after throwing a plastic pink flamingo onto the ice after the Golden Knights' won a game. He said pink flamingos showcase Vegas' kitschy and fun spirit.
"It's a bunch of 20-something-year-old well-paid guys, and they didn't have to be so classy," Johnson said. "If you put me in Vegas at 24 years old and gave me $2 million a year, I don't know if I would be as good to the community as they've been!"
Another fan, Logan Sokoloski, was dubbed "The Girl with the Hat" by goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. She wears a special Golden Knights' hat that's autographed by the players.
"I just want to thank them for how far they took us and I want to thank Fleury especially for what he did," she said.
An unforgettable face is Carnell Johnson, a.k.a Golden Pipes. He began his journey to stardom with an audition to sing the national anthem at the start of Golden Knights' season. After that, he was called back for almost every game and the fans enjoyed his performance every time.
"You're a part of our family now," Johnson said. "We're going to be there for you just like you were there for us in our greatest time of need."
Johnson said he and his son cried together when the Washington Capitals hoisted the Stanley Cup.
The love for the Vegas-born team crossed into the Las Vegas Latino community. ESPN Español radio host Jesus Lopez brought the excitement of hockey to Spanish-speakers. His energy during broadcasts made an impression on new fans.
"We needed a miracle to overcome this pain, and the Vegas Golden Knights became the miracle," Lopez said.
A special fan, eight-year-old Sai Mendoza-Santiago, is about to face his third open-heart surgery. The Golden Knights' surprised him and his mother Trina Langley with tickets to the final game of the season.
"I think it was pretty amazing that they got to go to the Stanley Cup ... I started crying because I knew it was about to be over," Sai said. "I want to say to everyone, including the team, thank you for praying for me."
Sai said he hopes some of the players visit him in the hospital when he's recovering.
The Vegas Golden Knights lifted the spirit of Las Vegas and created loyal fans in a desert oasis where many thought it couldn't work.
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