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SNOWVEMBER ANNIVERSARY LOOMS AS SHARKS SET TO RETURN TO BUFFALO

by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

Remember Snowvember? When up to eight feet of snow descended upon parts of Western New York and shut down the area for about a week last year?

Here’s a time lapse video of the wall of snow that our Creative Services Department captured last year. It’s pretty remarkable.

The Buffalo Sabres were set to go up against the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 18, 2014 and they ended up playing in front of about 6,200 fans at First Niagara Center.

Sabres captain Brian Gionta recorded two goals and an assist as the Sabres beat the Sharks 4-1. The win was Buffalo’s eighth straight against San Jose.

Forward Patrick Kaleta couldn’t even make it to the game last year because he couldn’t get out of his house in Hamburg. Snow piled up around his house and the roads were closed.

Kaleta had played his first NHL game in a calendar year a week earlier, missing all of that time as he recovered from both a knee injury and broken bones in his face. He said he was going a little stir-crazy while forced to watch Buffalo’s victory on TV.

“I was really, really aggravated. I was talking to Mike [Weber] about the year I had last year with watching as many games as I had to watch and not being able to do anything,” he said when he was finally able to return to practice at the end of the week. “But there’s nothing I could do. As my neighbor’s kids would say, I was pretty grumpy.”

The Sabres' game two days later against the New York Rangers was postponed and the schedule was shuffled.

The Buffalo Bills even had to play a home game in Detroit on that Monday because of the storm and traveled to the airport by snowmobile.

They beat the New York Jets 38-3 that week and coincidentally, they Jets are on the schedule tonight.

In addition to rescheduling those games, driving bans were enforced and other precautions were taken to try to ensure everyone’s safety. The storm still produced tragic consequences as at least 13 people were killed as a result of it.

“It just goes to show that what’s going on in the outside world, we’re playing a game – it’s our livelihood and all that – but there’s more important things,” Gionta said at the time. “Your hearts, your thoughts are with the people that are suffering right now and trying to help in any way we can.”

Kaleta also expressed his concern for those who were dealing with mountains of snow at their doorsteps.

“I have my greatest sympathy for the people in the Southtowns and even the places that were hit up north,” he said. “We stick together and we’ll work through it.”

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the start of the lake-effect snowstorm and wouldn’t you know it? The San Jose Sharks are back in town right around the same time this year.

Buffalo hosts San Jose on Saturday at 7 p.m. Has anyone checked the forecast yet?

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