Students and alumni of the United States Military Academy at West Point are united by the unbreakable bond forged from being members of the Corps of Cadets.
During the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, they are united by hockey.
The Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights are competing for the Cup, and each franchise is owned by graduates of the prestigious 221-year-old academy in West Point, New York.
Panthers owner Vincent Viola ’77 received his bachelor’s degree from West Point in 1977 and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne, Air Assault, Infantry and Ranger Schools and a former infantry officer in the 101st Airborne Division.
Golden Knights owner Bill Foley ’67 earned his bachelor’s degree from the academy in 1967 and served in the U.S. Air Force, where he achieved the rank of captain.
Their teams playing in the Cup Final is a source of pride—and bragging rights—at the academy and throughout the West Point community.
Vegas leads the best-of-7 series with Game 3 at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida, on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; TNT, TBS, truTV, CBC, SN, TVAS).
“It’s really taken off within the classes,” said Jamie Enos, associate director of communications for the West Point Association of Graduates, the alumni association that supports the academy’s 55,000 living graduates. “We have a little friendly wager going on between the classes on which team (will win the Stanley Cup), supporting their classes, kind of donating money back and forth based on that.”
Army is extra-excited because “We are in it, which is great, and Navy is not, so that’s always a little bonus,” Enos said. “It’s historic having those two owners coming out of the same college setting.”