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by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

The ice is down at First Niagara Center as the Buffalo Sabres’ development camp gets underway. After open practices Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, fans have the opportunity to attend “Sabres Summer Fan Fest” on Friday.

Camp opens Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and features 40 prospects, including recent Sabres draft picks like Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, Jake McCabe, Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov and Mark Pysyk.

Each day of practice will be broken up into two sessions.

Wednesday, July 10
Group 1: 10:30 a.m. - Noon
Group 2: 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 11
Group 1: 10:30 a.m. - Noon
Group 2: 2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Friday, July 12
Blue & Gold Scrimmage - Begins at 4 p.m.

Admission to the practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday is free.

Those who purchase tickets to the “Sabres Summer Fan Fest” in advance will receive admission to the Blue & Gold Scrimmage featuring the prospects attending development camp at 4 p.m., a concert at Canalside headlined by alternative rock group 10,000 Maniacs starting at 6 p.m., a post-concert fireworks display and a voucher for a discounted ticket to the Buffalo Bisons game at Coca-Cola Field on Saturday.

Tickets are on sale now for $10 each and fan packages can be customized here. Sabres season-ticket holders are eligible for one free Fan Fest ticket for each seat they have purchased for the 2013-14 season.

Doors to the “Sabres Summer Fan Fest” on Friday open at 3 p.m. Concession stands in the arena will also be open with family-friendly pricing.

Also during the Fan Fest, kids 12 and under can participate in an autograph session with Sabres prospects beginning at 6 p.m.

This will be the second year in a row that development camp has been held at First Niagara Center. Last year, over 5,000 fans attended the Blue & Gold Scrimmage and nearly 10,000 in all took in the practice sessions during the week.

“The fan turnout at last year’s development camp and scrimmage really drove home the fact that our fans have an appetite for hockey that continues year-round,” Sabres President Ted Black said in a statement. “We’re excited to build upon that fan interest and offer a larger event that capitalizes on our arena’s location on Buffalo’s burgeoning waterfront.”

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