Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

June 26, 2008

SABRES NOTEBOOK: St. Francis' Scarsella shines at camp

LEWISTON — Forget catching some rays at Woodlawn Beach. Lackawanna’s Vinnie Scarsella, a Canisius College freshman who led his team in points last season, was a last-second addition to the Sabres developmental camp at Niagara University — and the St. Francis product is loving every minute of it.

Scarsella said he got a call from his Canisius coaches asking if he wanted to take part in the event on Tuesday. So he wouldn’t violate NCAA policy, Scarsella signed up and paid a $200 entry fee to dorm with a number of other rising stars.

He did well in the scrimmage portion of Thursday’s sessions, scoring a pair of goals, and handling himself against Buffalo’s first-round draft choice, Tyler Myers.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Scarsella said. “I’m playing the best of the best. I just got lucky a couple of times.”

As for battling Myers for a loose puck in the corner, Scarsella said he had more than just a fierce opponent to overcome. Scarsella stands at 5-foot-7 while Myers is 6-foot-7.

“I think he went over me,” Scarsella joked.

•••

It’s easy to forget how close in age some of the players at the camp are from the throngs of autograph seekers.

That proximity came to light when Mike Weber was pulled away from a group of teens trying to get his attention.

As he walked behind the west goal at Dwyer, a member of the Sabres public relations staff thanked the 19-year-old defenseman for spending time with the group of young fans.

Weber’s response: “I was one of those kids. Like five years ago.”

•••

Speaking of Weber, he must have been watching Brian Campbell highlights this off-season.

When one group was taking part in breakaway drills in the auxiliary rink, Weber came down on goalie Brad Eidsness and pulled a spin-o-rama in the crease.

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