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Buffalo, Sabres are excited hosts

Friday, 09.28.2012 / 4:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / All-American Prospects Game Blog

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All-American Prospects Game Blog
Buffalo, Sabres are excited hosts

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres and USA Hockey formed a strong partnership for the 2011 World Junior Championship, so bringing the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game to Buffalo was a pretty easy decision.

And the response from the area has been solid.

Sabres president Ted Black wouldn't give a number on tickets sold, but said he expects about 5,000 fans to be in the First Niagara Center for the game Saturday night.

"I think the fans are very excited about it," Black said. "I don't know what our ticket count is right now but we expect to have over 5,000 fans in the building, and for an event of this caliber, I think that's a pretty good start. Tickets are available and we expect a pretty strong walk-up crowd."

Black said beyond tickets, he said success will be measured by the amount of fun the players and fans have. The players, who started arriving Friday, will be treated to a special private event at the First Niagara Center, hosted by Sabres owner Terry Pegula, and his wife, Kim.

"We want the players that are coming here to have a first-rate experience and a first-rate impression of our franchise and of this city," Black said. "And we also want to continue to impress USA Hockey, which we enjoy a wonderful relationship with."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals