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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Roly comes through

   May 23, 1999 -- It might have been Dwayne Roloson's best moment as a Sabre.

   Buffalo was heading into the Eastern Conference final, against its biggest rival, Toronto. But star goalie Dominik Hasek was on the sidelines with an injury.

   Enter Roloson, or if you prefer, Roly the Goalie, who didn't even tell his parents he was going to start the game.

   "I didn't want to wreck their weekend," Roloson said. "I knew but I didn't know. I didn't want to get overzealous and wreck their weekend if I didn't start."

   Roloson had 28 saves in a 5-4 victory over the Maple Leafs in the Air Canada Center. Stu Barnes, Geoff Sanderson, Vaclav Varada, Dixon Ward and Curtis Brown scored for the Sabres.

   "I told them we could beat Toronto if we played as a team," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "In Dom's absence [for 12 games earlier this season], we were one game over .500. I told them one game over .500 in a seven-game series would win it for us."

   Roloson was still playing at a high level, as a starter, 12 years later in Tampa Bay.

--- Budd Bailey

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