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Sabres to Face Columbus in Hockeyville

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Teams will play exhibition game in Clinton, NY

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in a preseason game this coming fall in Clinton, NY, the community that won Kraft’s Hockeyville USA competition.

The two teams will play at Clinton Arena on September 25.

“Playing in front of Clinton’s passionate hockey community in a rink like the ones many of our players grew up skating in will be a great experience for our players,” said Sabres GM Jason Botterill. “We look forward to putting on a great show for the NHL fans of Central New York.”

Clinton Arena was voted the winner of the Kraft Hockeyville contest and will receive $150,000 in rink upgrades. It has been on the National Historic Register since 2010.

The rink is about a three-hours’ drive from Buffalo, southwest of Utica, and seats almost 2,000 people. Parts of the movie Slapshot were filmed at the rink.

Ticket information will become available at a later date, however, the majority of tickets are expected to be distributed to fans in the local (Clinton) community.

This September’s game will be the fourth time the Sabres have participated in a Hockeyville exhibition game, but the first in New York State and the closest ever to Buffalo. The Sabres most recently participated in a Hockeyville game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Michigan in 2016. They also played in 2008 and 2010, both in Canada.

The other finalist rinks for this year’s Hockeyville USA competition were located in Brandon, South Dakota; Shreveport, Louisiana, and Middlebury, Vermont.

Lucan, Ontario won the Canadian portion of Hockeyville and will host a preseason game between Toronto and Ottawa on September 18.

Last year, the Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, PA and the O’Leary Community Sports Center in Prince Edward Island were selected to host games; however, neither actually ended up hosting an NHL preseason game.

Rostraver was determined to be “not adequately equipped,” so the game was moved to the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. The O’Leary game was moved to Summerside, PEI due to transportation issues.