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REMEMBERING THE AUD

Friday, 05.15.2009 / 11:17 AM / Features
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REMEMBERING THE AUD

Keep them coming! The Buffalo Sabres need your Memorial Auditorium stories.

With the final pieces of the historic building beginning to fall, the Sabres want you, the fans, to help preserve its legacy.

Send us your favorite memories, moments and stories and they could be selected to run on Sabres.com. Take a look at some excerpts below taken from fan e-mails.


My favorite Auditorium story would have to be the night Rick Vaive scored his 400th career goal in the NHL [against] the Montreal Canadiens. Back in those days, the rivalry was still huge… I think that this was one of the greatest moments for me. I will miss the Auditorium when the final brick is eliminated. May the Auditorium's memories live in everyone's heart, mind and soul and let us remember that even thought the Auditorium was only a building, the things we saw inside will never be forgotten.
~Christopher K. – Buffalo, NY
 

My Aud memory has to be my very first hockey game. I believe it was 1974, Halloween Night, Sabres vs the California Golden Seals, I was 10 years old and my dad got tickets to the game in the Oranges… I remember walking into the building. It was HUGE.  We walked up to the glass and watched the players warm up. [Jim Schoenfield] skated by and 'popped' the glass right in front of me and all the other kids standing there and yelled out "Hey Kids!" … I was thrilled.
~Greg – Brooklet, GA
 

As a kid who never liked loud noises, offensive scoring chances were a double-edged sword at the Aud.  I can recall a few instances where my hands were clamped to my ears while I shouted over the famed horn as the cheers rained down onto the Blue and Gold.
~Brian A. – Clarence, NY
 

My father, a died-in-the-wool Red Wings fan took me and two of his friends (also staunch Wings supporters) to see the Red Wings play the Sabres when I was about 6 years old - which would have been around 1980. I was mostly ambivalent about it...it was really just a way to spend time with my dad.  Well, the Sabres ended up winning 6-1. Gil Perreault scored twice and single handedly killed a penalty by himself by simply stick handling up and down the ice.  The place was electric, the crowd going haywire and the big goal horn was blowing loud and often!  At the end of the game, I was so excited that I decided that that was it.  I was baptized a Sabres fan, much to the chagrin of my old man… since that day, I've cheered for the Sabres and know / believe deep down in my heart of hearts that one day, faith will be rewarded!
~Ken E. – Southbury, CT
 

The one thing that will always stick out in my mind about the Aud was the Sabres open practices. The place was always jam-packed... I always thought it was cool to see the Sabres wearing both their home whites and away blues when they would scrimmage. The atmosphere was always electric during those special times.
~Matthew R. – North Tonawanda, NY
 

The first time my Dad took me to the old Aud was probably around 1967 or 1968 to see the Buffalo Bisons play hockey against the Quebec Aces. The Bisons won 4-3 and afterwards I wrote a letter to the team asking for their autographs. I received a letter back with all their autographs on individual slips of paper which I have to this day. Guys like Gilles Villemure, Dennis Hextall, Billy Knibbs, Bob Blackburn, Bob Ash. I've been a Buffalo hockey fan ever since.
~ Jerry S. – Cedar Rapids, IA
 

My dad would take me down to the dressing room after the game and the security guards were good enough to let me past the security fence, being all but 7 years old. I collected the majority of the 1992 team autographs and I vividly recall walking out the exit doors in search for Pat Lafontaine's autograph. He was already in a van being driven by someone and Pat literally stopped the van and got out to sign my white home jersey. It was one of the best moments I had growing up and I still have that jersey framed to this day!
~ Adam B. – Toronto, ONT
 

I remember the standing room at the Aud after they tore the top off and made it bigger… and the roar that would permeate the building when the Sabres scored, rising up from the ice to the higher roof.
~ Paul N. – Danville, CA
 

I was about 10 years old when I went to a hockey game with my mother, best friend, and his mom. We had seats in the high upper deck, and for anyone that knows the Aud, they know how steep the steps leading to the last row were. The Sabres scored a goal near the middle of the second and like all goals the fan jumped up and cheered. Well, when my best friend jumped up he leaned to far forward and fell down three rows in front of him, caught himself, stood up, and fell three more before being caught and helped out by a fellow Sabres Fan… it was by far one of the funniest moments I think I ever experienced at the Aud.
~Greg – Lancaster, NY
 

Although I've watched many Sabre games over the years, my fondest memory of the Aud goes back to Febuary 12, 1971… The Sabres were playing the California Golden Seals.  Joe Daley was in goal for the Sabres and registered his first and only shutout as a Sabre, beating the Seals by a score of 3-0… ( the only goaltender in Buffalo Sabres history to play without wearing a protective mask).  The game was so exciting to me and I was so overcome by my first experience at the Aud that I have continued to make the drive to Buffalo even after all these years.
~John C. – Utica, NY
 

I can remember the wonderful moments with friends and family when we'd go see see Ice Follies. I also enjoyed the days when the WWF would have their monthly matches there in the early 80's. Who could ever forget the steel cage match between Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka vs. The Magnificent Morrocco? It was a true classic!
~Andre – Buffalo, NY
 

Who could forget that smell that only the Aud had and those ramps that seemed to go on forever? Memories of games attended with my parents and feeling like I sitting so close to players I could reach out and touch them will never be forgotten.  There's no way to describe how much the time spent together with my folks watching the Sabres in that building mean now. That was an amazing place to watch a hockey game and even more amazing are the memories I have with me now.
~Tom – Lancaster, NY
 

Nothing will replace the sound of Milt Ellis' voice that still resonates in my mind. From, "Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and stand for the singing of the Canadian and American national anthems as sung by tenor Joe Byron and organist Norm Wollund...." to "His 18th goal of the season scored by No. 11 Gilbert Perreault, assisted by No. 14 Rene Robert and No. 22 Joceyln Guevremont at time 10:19. Perreault from Robert and Guevremont at 10:19." I'll miss the Aud. I always felt like I knew my way around the building like it was a second home.
~Pete – Canton, OH
 

I will always remember being behind the goal when Gil Perreault scored his 500th. I ran down to the glass to be part of the celebration. I still carry the ticket stub with me everywhere I go for luck.
~Bill R. Huntersville, NC
 
 
I remember the 1991 NHL draft. At the time I thought it was boring but I look back now at the names and it makes me want to go back to that 11-year-old kid and say, 'pay attention!' I'll always have those memories and more... to remind me of that building.
~Andrew E. – Tonawanda ,NY
 
 
For about the last twenty to twenty-five years I have been involved with an organization known as SABAH ( Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped)... A lot of the local celebrities would participate in the SABAH ice show every year. One of the most memorable experiences for me came when Rob Ray participated. During the intermission, a lot of our special performers approached him for an autograph. There had to be around 75 to 100 kids trying to get his autograph. To his credit, he did not leave the area until all of the kids were satsified and every autograph had been signed. I just felt that he showed a lot of class and a willingness to kind of give back to the community that had embraced and supported him.
~Rick B. Rochester, NY
 

Being a Bandits season ticket holder for their first four seasons, who can forget "B-O-X, B-O-X, to the box, to the box, to the box box box!"  The energy in that building when the Bandits were winning their championships would rival any crowd at any sporting event.
~Duane H. – Union City, PA
 
 
My most favorite Aud moment came when [Jim] Schoenfeld and Wayne Cashman crashed through the Zamboni doors!  We were in the Oranges right above them as they were slugging it out. 
~Martin S. – Houston, TX
  
  
My favorite memory of the Aud was the night of the famous Fog Game during the 1975 Finals. Who could ever forget that exciting evening? ...From Jim Lorentz killing the flying bat; to a fan challenging Dave "The Hammer" Schultz to a fight, to the rink attendents waving bedsheets in an attempt to clear the fog, and finally Rene Robert scoring the winning goal in the overtime fog shortly before midnight. It is unlikely there will ever be a game quite like that!
~Jeff B.  – Greensboro, NC
   
  
I went to every game in 1992 to the Aud for the Buffalo Bandits, but it was 1993 going to every game with my friends in watching the undefeated Buffalo Bandits capture their second MILL World Championship at home that was my favorite moment.
~Dennis H.  – East Aurora, NY
  
  
The fondest memory of the Aud, that I have, would be a sweet elderly woman that would carry a folded up piece of newspaper religiously to each game. On the paper were the names of each player and their numbers on their jerseys. She would watch the game, notice a player make a mistake, look at their number, look down at her paper and then yell "Come on, Hawerchuk!" It was both funny and memorable!
~ Jeff M. New Port Richey, FL
  
 
Blizzard games. You forget that the Aud was home to indoor soccer. Cheering on Rudy, Randy and Andrew Crawford, the original Miller time (Dog Miller) for the five seasons we had season tickets... The Aud was just a wonderful old dump. It was home and will always be my favorite.
~ Jeffrey – West Seneca, NY
  
  
I was just a little kid living in Tonawanda and remember the Bisons game where the ice was still removed with shovels and remade with 55-gallon drums of hot water... The Aud is one of those childhood memories that will always linger!
~ Jack Garlach – Olathe, KS
 
 
My mom worked for Sport Service for years so I got into many free events - ice Shows, circuses, basketball games and anything else that ended up there. I was there so often that in 1973 I became a program seller, and did that till 1985. Through the years, I remember getting there early and seeing all the players come in. We got to know them and everyone that worked in the Aud.
I will never forget the night after Tim Horton died - the somberness of that night was chilling... I remember watching Diane Luce and Sue Ramsey rocking in their seats during the playoff games. I remember working the Buffalo Braves games as well as the concerts. It is sad to see this magnificent place, which holds so many memories for me, torn down, but it certainly will never be forgotten.
~Deb S. – Mesa, AZ
 
  
One memory I'll never forget is when Ric Seiling in a December '83 game against Vancouver hip checked Darcy Rota so hard that he flew head first right into the Buffalo penalty box!  All you saw were skates waving back and forth and they had to whistle the play dead because he couldn't get out!  My uncle and I sat right near there in the lower golds...  I have a few DVDs of some old games from there to watch when I need my Aud fix.
~Scott Z. – North Charleston, SC
 
  
I was 6 years old when Dave Hannon beat Marty [Brodeur] in the 1994 playoffs. We sat in the lower golds and were behind Hasek when the goal happened. I remember the paper planes being thrown around all night, the two other goals we had that were disallowed, and the eruption of the crowd when the puck finally crossed the line.
~Jeff K. – Cheektowaga, NY
    
   
Everyone remembers the famous [Steve] Shields / [Garth] Snow fight! That is my favorite memory from the Aud. My Dad took me to the game that night, one of my first games... This brawl made me realize how much I loved Sabres hockey.  I don't think I have ever yelled so loud and for so long! Years later watching it again and hearing Jeanneret call the brawl still gives me goosebumps!
~Kristie B. – Lewisville, TX
   
  
I had the opportunity to play in between periods at a Sabres-Devils game in 1986. As a player itwas AWESOME. As a fan, I can't even begin to describe it. Yes, we played to a 0-0 score, but having my parents in the oranges, with my name announced in the starting line-up was amazing...those six minutes were great. But, what I will remember most, was, as lined up by the entrance to go out, Lindy Ruff and Mike Foligno went by all of us and tapped our helmets... I will always remember that time, it was magical as a child then, and a special memory of that team/franchise/building as an adult.
~Shawn C. – Cheektowaga, NY
   
  
It was April 7, 1983 and I was six years old.  My parents took me to see the my very first hockey game at the Aud.  The Sabres were playing the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs.  Our seats were in the orange and I remember the the building shaking as Sabre fans chanted "Sauve" "Sauve" as he recorded his second shut out in row against the Canadiens.  The Sabres went up 2-0 and swept the series.  The Aud was a special place to watch hockey.
~Keith V. – Rochester, NY
   

I fondly remember the old chicken wire netting above the boards when the Bisons played and my first in-person glimpses of Bobby Hull and Gil Perreault when the NHL came to town and the joy it gave my parents to go to a hockey game together to see the Sabres play on a cold winter night.
~Robert M. – Washington, DC
  
   
One game, my dad & I made a sign to see if we could win the contest:  "Schoeny + Maloney = No Baloney!"  Jim Schoenfeld rejoined the team and they picked up Dave Maloney from the Rangers.  We won the contest so we got a free dinner at Chef's and tickets for a Minnesota North Stars game. It was a cool experience & a night that I'll never forget!
~Carla C. – East Aurora, NY
  


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