LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The song lyric goes: California dreamin’ … On such a winter’s day.
And the gleam in Annabelle Hanson’s eye Friday at a Golden Knights’ practice session just fits. Bright smile, dream come true. A bit of warmth to melt some winter chill, thanks to the NHL team and Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada.
Hanson, 8, of Janesville, California, who has cystic fibrosis, flew in with family to put on skates and equipment and skate a bit with Knights players.
She became a Golden Knights fan, she says, as a way to dig a bit at her father and grandfather. Both are huge San Jose Sharks fans who “hate” the Knights. So she started rooting for the team from Las Vegas, a Sharks’ rival, just to get back at them.
Hanson will be at Saturday’s game at T-Mobile Arena that pits the Knights against the Washington Capitals. She’ll ring the siren to signal the start of the second period.
Oh, and on Friday, she “signed a contract,” met her favorite player, Mark Stone, and got a chance to drop the gloves, getting into a “hockey fight” and being sent to the penalty box.
Said Annabelle of Friday’s happening: “The greatest day of my life.”