Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

June 25, 2008

SABRES: Team opens development camp at Niagara University

Six current and former Niagara University players are competing in NHL development camps this week.

Player Team

Juliano Pagliero*, Ottawa Senators

Sean Bentivoglio, New York Islanders

Kyle Rogers, Toronto Maple Leages

Scott Langdon, Toronto Maple Leafs

Matt Caruana, Anaheim Ducks

Les Reaney, Edmonton Oilers

* Expected to return to NU next season

LEWISTON — “If you’re a hockey fan, you can’t miss something like this.”

That’s Keith Wozniak’s message to us in Niagara County. Wozniak put his gas money where his mouth was Wednesday, driving 90 minutes from Gates, a Rochester suburb, to watch the first session of the Buffalo Sabres’ development camp at Niagara University’s Dwyer Arena.

Wozniak, a Kenmore West High School graduate, his wife, Alyssa, and 4-year-old son, Jacob, were among the more than 250 fans who got an up-close — and free — look at the first Sabres activity of the 2008-09 season: a two-hour practice on two rinks featuring 30 prospects.

The Wozniaks said they were most interested in watching some of their favorite former Rochester Americans, particularly Patrick Kaleta and Adam Dennis.

“This is the last time we’re going to see them,” said Alyssa, noting that the Sabres recently switched their American Hockey League affiliation from Rochester to Portland, Maine.

New additions Nathan Gerbe, Tim Kennedy and goaltender Jhonas Enroth were the main attractions, along with Tyler Myers, the one of the Sabres’ recent first-round draft picks.

“I wasn’t sure about him,” said John Adams of Niagara Falls. “But he can really skate, for being that big (6-foot-7).”

Gerbe, the reigning Frozen Four MVP who measures 14 inches shorter than Myers, was expected to begin camp Thursday after visiting the White House with his Boston College teammates on Tuesday, but took the ice Wednesday. He impressed both on and off the ice.

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