While the NHL preseason should be in full swing at this point, there is going to be some hockey downtown this weekend as the 2012 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will be happening at the First Niagara Center on Saturday night. If you haven't heard about the tournament, we have everything you need to know.
What Is It? The game brings together 40 of the best American prospects that are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft under one roof. They will be coached by Sabres alumni Phil Housley and Rob McClanahan.
Who Should I Pay Attention To? All 40 players should have a decent chance to be drafted in the NHL next year but there are a handful of players that were rated as A skaters on NHL Central Scouting's Watch List. On Team Housley, defenseman Mike Downing who plays for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL, defenseman Ian McCoshen of the Waterloo Black Hawks, and forward J.T. Compher of the USNTDP Under 18 team. On Team McClanahan, there is Williamsville native Justin Bailey who currently plays for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, Hudson Fasching from the USNTDP Under 18 team, and Luke Johnson from the Lincoln Stars in the USHL.
So What Is The Schedule? The game is at 7:00 pm on Saturday night. If you enjoy watching early morning practices, both teams will take the ice on Saturday morning for practice that is free and open to the public. Team Housley will take the ice at 9:30 am and Team McClanahan will take the ice at 10:15 am.
There are also two youth games happening before the main event. The Buffalo Saints U18 team will be taking on the Amherst Knights U18 team at 12:30 pm followed by the Buffalo Jr. Sabres U18 taking on the Greater Boston Jr. Bruins 18U squad at 2:30 pm. Both of those games are free to the public.
Are There Still Tickets? Most definitely. Tickets are still available and they start at $20 for adults and $5 of youth. If you use the promotional code SABRES, you can get $10 off adult tickets. There aren't going to be bad seats as only the 100 and 200 levels are open for purchase. If you need to get your hockey fix, this is an inexpensive way to get it done.