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Live from the Ralph: The Ice Bowl pregame

1:05: The snow is picking up but the wind has died down. The crowd roared as a countdown to NBC's sign-on was held. Bob Costas did his opening outside the network's booth standing on the stadium infield with Mike Milbury. Don Cherry, meanwhile, has yet to leave the CBC booth.

12:56: The warmup is over and the snow is really flying. Pens winger Georges Laraque just told CBC to expect a lot of dump and chase if the snow keeps up. No way to really control where your passes are going.

12:41: Accompanied by the Celtic Spirit Pipe Band, the teams enter the ice for warmups emerging from the tunnel to a huge roar. The Penguins bear left, wearing their white toques, and the Sabres go right to enter the ice. Some Sabres have helmets, some have hoods. Classic Sabres white jerseys. The best!

12:40 p.m.: Kid in a Sabres jersey is on the jumbotron with a sign that reads, "Look Mom, no roof."

12:38 p.m.: The snow is picking up again. Glad I DVR'd CBC. What a terrific video they did at the opening of their telecast highlighting Sabres history. They put it up in here on the jumbotron. In the house, Kevin Sylvester is interviewing Rick Jeanneret and Harry Neale, who are resplendent in their Russian-style hats and parkas.

12:18 p.m.: The media bozo award goes to Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times, who complained in his column today that the NHL should be playing the game in New York City. Spare me, pal. You want to be in New York City today, nothing's stopping you. Go move there.

12:05 p.m.: The snow has stopped and the skies are cloudy, making for just about perfect conditions. It's just a tad breezy but we should be good to go for an opening faceoff at around 1:20. Hasek's Heroes Kids in Sabres and Penguins jerseys are on the mini rink playing shinny near the tunnel end -- using boots for nets -- and the television cameras are all over them.

CBC's pregame show starts at 12:30 and Elliotte Friedman did a terrific piece on the Aud, complete with a locker room tour from Rene Robert. I've got it DVRd to see that -- and to catch Don Cherry and Ron MacLean. Seriously now, Costas or Cherry? No contest.

---Mike Harrington


Winter Classic
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |