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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
The Blue squad may have outscored Gold 10-4 Wednesday night, as the Sabres split up for a team scrimmage at HSBC Arena, but for the fans it was a chance to see their favorite team.

The practice was open to the public and many arrived to take a look at the Sabres.

"I think they're going to look exactly the same," said Pat Cegielski of Buffalo. "I think Connolly will step in for Danny [Briere] and we've got a bunch of kids coming up, like [Drew] Stafford, that will step in and make up for a lot of people leaving."

Stafford opened up the scoring for the Blue team on a penalty shot, to make it 1-0 in the first period. For the practice, penalty shots were given instead of power plays so the team could practice shootout situations.

Marek Zagrapan also added a goal on a penalty shot, and Jean-Pierre Allard buried the puck to give to the Blue team a 3-0 lead over Gold.

"I like to see a bunch of the kids from Rochester, just to watch and see how they're doing- to see who might be on the team and who might not make the team," Cegielski added. You get to see a lot of the guys you wouldn't get to see once the regular season starts."

Other fans were there to see their favorite veteran players.

"I just wanted to see the team and see how they're doing and everything. I like [Thomas] Vanek, he's hustling out there and [Derek] Roy is doing pretty good," said 15-year-old Steve Owen of Lancaster.

"We came for my son and his friend. They are big Sabres fans. They love [Jason] Pominville and Ryan Miller," said Kathy Juenker of Amherst.

"I like Max [Afinogenov], said Nick Baranowski, 6, of Lakeviw. When asked why his answer was simple. "Because I have his jersey," he said.

"I'm impressed with [Dylan] Hunter, he looks good," said Nick's father, Rich Baranowski. "The first few goals he had were really nice."

Hunter added two goals for the Gold team in the second period, both assisted by Clarke MacArthur.

Mark Mancari scored a pair of goals for Blue, as did Michael Ryan and Phillipe Gogolla. Roy also added a goal for Blue.

In addition to Hunter, scoring for the Gold team were Jaroslav Spacek and Patrick Kaleta.

"They've got the spunk in their legs and they're ready to go. Everybody and the whole team is going to step up," said Don Truitt of Ransomville. "With all the veterans, you have a good crew there that are all bonded together and they are going to be good."

Fans will have the chance to see the Sabres play in their first preseason game 7 p.m. Friday at HSBC Arena, against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tickets are half-price for children and available online and at all Ticketmaster locations.
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