The Sabres are having fun preparing for Hockeyville, USA

September 25, 2018

Clinton, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres arrived at Clinton Arena in a driving rain, but that didn’t stop them from greeting all the young fans standing in the rain. The players all had umbrellas as they signed autographs.

Phil Housley said on Monday that he wanted to bring as many Americans as he could to the Hockeyville USA game. I’m sure the league wanted Buffalo to bring some front line players and they obliged with bringing Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin and Sam Reinhart.

The building was packed with kids as the Sabres had their morning skate and Housley loved it, “I think it’s great, it brings you back to all of your childhood memories, guys are sitting in the locker room there and we’re all tight and it was a great feeling because you draw back from that when you were a kid and playing with your buddies.”

The corners are square like the old Boston Garden, which Housley said will be an adjustment, “The ice surface itself, the end zones are really small, so any shot is going to be a good shot.

“It was great, the tunes were blaring, we were moving the puck really well and feeling it. This crowd was awesome and with this atmosphere, it’s going to be exciting tonight.”

Scott Wedgewood will get his first start of the preseason. He played 20 minutes against Pittsburgh and has a 6.00 goals against and .833 save percentage.

Casey Mittelstadt will center two Americans in C.J. Smith and Andrew Oglevie. Housley and his coaching staff are spending a lot of time in trying to improve the rookie’s defense. Housley said, “He just needs to get more comfortable, his defensive zone, that’s the one thing that I’m worried about, he’s got great skill and speed in the way he attacks the game, it’s just his defensive reads, make sure he collapses down in the defensive zone and every shift, you’re not going to get what you want and if you play good defense and have good checking detail, the rest will come into play.”

The Sabres' lines for the Hockeyville game are:


53 Skinner - 9 Eichel - 23 Reinhart

92 Nylander - 10 Berglund - 21 Okposo

49 Smith - 37 Mittelstadt - 52 Oglevie

95 Bailey - 71 Rodrigues - 65 O’Regan


45 Guhle - 8 Nelson

19 McCabe - 4 Bogosian

26 Dahlin - 33 Borgen


There will be about 2,000 fans in this cozy venue for the game. Brian Koziol gets you started at 7:00 and then Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray take over for the play-by-play.