The Buffalo Sabres paid tribute to local men and women who served in the military during their game Tuesday night. To celebrate “Military Appreciation Night”, the team honored the 107th Airlift Wing from Niagara Falls Joint Air Reserve Station before the game. Local members of the Marines were also recognized during the singing of the American national anthem.
Buffalo also introduced special camouflage jerseys with white lettering worn by all the players during warm-ups. The jerseys are being auctioned off on the Sabres’ website until November 20, with proceeds benefitting the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.
Sabres captain Steve Ott has a strong connection to the Canadian military and recognized the symbolic significance of wearing those camouflage jerseys before the game.
“It was great to wear those jerseys, absolutely. It means a lot to myself, both my mom and dad served 26 years in the Canadian Air Force. It was really neat to put on that uniform tonight.”
“Tickets for Troops” is an ongoing effort by the Sabres to recognize local members of the military at each home game. Members of the military have such a profound impact on the lives of Americans every day. For tonight’s honoree, Sgt. Jeff Gramlich, the Sabres have been a significant part of his life for a very long time.
“I became a Buffalo Sabres fan at a young age, born and raised in Buffalo. I grew up with the old Aud, and I’ve loved the team ever since I was three or four years old,” Gramlich said.
Sabres left wing Matt Moulson has played just seven games with the team, but has already registered four games with multiple points in his brief tenure in Buffalo. With two assists in tonight’s game, it was Moulson’s third game with that many assists with the team. Still, Moulson deferred credit to the team effort and to goaltender Ryan Miller for the Sabres victory.
“Everybody pulled it together and found a way to win tonight. [Miller] kept us in it as usual, he played great through the first couple periods to keep us in it.”
Despite getting outshot by the Kings 45-17, the Sabres still created enough opportunities to stay in the game until the end. The 28-shot deficit was the largest the Sabres have faced in a game this season. The previous highest difference was 24 in a 2-1 win over Florida on October 25. Head coach Ron Rolston credited the success to the team’s perseverance after the first period, in which Buffalo was outshot 15-4.
“That was key, getting out of the first 1-0, and still being in that game. After that second period I think guys knew that we were hanging in it and had an opportunity to win. You could tell [Miller] was on right from the beginning, so he had a lot of confidence.”
Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret was the recipient of an unexpected seating upgrade for tonight’s game. Due to an unexpected elevator malfunction, Jeanneret sat in between the benches with Rob Ray. The team even furnished the 71-year-old Jeanneret with a white helmet for the game, with the initials “RJ” across the front.