Sabres' Bogosian was taken back to his childhood during Hockeyville USA

September 25, 2018

Clinton, NY (WGR 550) - Zach Bogosian grew up about three hours from Clinton, New York in Massena. The Sabres defenseman said he played against teams from Clinton, but never in the Clinton Arena.

The Sabres flew into Rome, New York so they had a bus ride through the small towns to Clinton. Bogosian said that brings back a lot of memories, “I’m used to seeing the backroads of New York State, so it brought back some memories of the long hockey trips on the weekends with my parents and my brothers, but it was cool reminiscing about your childhood and coming to an event like this and seeing a lot of younger kids. We talked about the games that we played and the friends that we met, it’s cool.”

That’s what the game was all about on Tuesday, kids here for the red carpet when the teams got here, kids screaming and chanting throughout the morning skate and then kids and families getting to see a once in a lifetime event, a NHL game in their home arena. Bogosian said, “It’s great because if this was around when I was a kid, I think it would be something that I would want to be at.

“It’s fun, this is what it’s all about, right? I think it’s something that the kids really enjoy and we enjoy doing it, it’s a good event that the NHL puts on.”

Did the Sabres want to win, sure they did, they talked about after the morning skate, but there were also rewards from the excitement generated in the Hockeyville USA game.

Coming to the Clinton Arena reminded Bogosian about his rink, the Massena Arena. He said, “It’s like any other minor hockey rink in the U.S., every kid every time you play in your hometown rink and for me seeing it for the first time as an adult going back, that was cool, you think about all the memories growing up, even when you come into a rink like this.”

The Clinton Arena is smaller than a regulation NHL rink and has square corners, just like the old Boston Garden. Being a defenseman, Bogosian will meet those corners on a regular basis, “We’ll see how it goes, the corners are pretty square, it reminds me of my junior days in Peterborough, so getting a few good shifts early on will probably be a big factor.”

Many U.S. players were in the lineup for Buffalo including Bogosian, Jack Eichel, Casey Mittelstadt, Justin Bailey, Kyle Okposo, Jake McCabe, Casey Nelson, C.J. Smith, Andrew Oglevie and Will Borgen.

It was nice that the first goal of the game was scored by American Casey Nelson ripping home a nice one-time pass from Alex Nylander.