BUFFALO, N.Y. - It's game on at HarborCenter, Buffalo's downtown $172 million hockey and entertainment complex, and Dave Smith has difficulty describing his level of excitement.
The Canisius College hockey coach says he keeps getting stuck on the word "special."
The Golden Griffins will formally christen the two-rink facility's main ice sheet Friday when they host Ohio State.
HarborCenter, however, goes beyond Canisius, the Atlantic Hockey program which will use the facility as its new home.
The complex is privately funded by Sabres owner Terry Pegula. And it has already raised Buffalo's stature on the international hockey landscape.
The NHL is bringing its next two annual pre-draft rookie combines and the 2016 draft to Buffalo.
USA Hockey selected Buffalo to hold several international championships at HarborCenter, which is connected to the Sabres arena.