Tonawanda News

Sports

April 15, 2013

Locals compete in Sabres' showcase

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — "When you put on the Buffalo sweater you're all teammates out there," said Klapp. "You play for each other and hopefully get the 'W'."

The high school junior squads opened the three-game series, with Team Buffalo featuring Kenmore West's Stephen Hermann. The juniors fell to Rochester 4-1. In the final game, Buffalo's junior/prep squad defeated Rochester, 3-2.

Joining Klapp on Team Buffalo's senior squad was Kenmore West's Tom Ryan, who got an assist in their 9-0 rout.

"It felt good. A real exciting group of guys to play with," said Ryan of his former Buffalo-area rivals turned teammates. "You've got a grudge against someone throughout the season but when you get here you become friends and you talk. It's a good time at the Bowman Cup."

Among those on hand to take in the annual games was the man for whom the Cup was named, Hall of Famer and the National Hockey League's all-time winningest coach, Scotty Bowman, whose career included a stop in Buffalo. He remains a local resident.

Does he favor Team Buffalo to win the Bowman Cup every year, or does he simply want to see the best team win?

"No, I don't know much about the players," Bowman admitted. "You hope that it's as close as the game can be."

The players need not worry if Scotty Bowman isn't as familiar with their names.  It's the scouts and coaches who were taking names.  With many programs about to hold their spring tryouts in preparation for next season, some of the players are hoping last night will be only the first of many times these coaches may call out their names.

For others, it's a nice way to cap off their hockey careers. Ryan is in the latter category, as he revealed when asked about his future plans.

"I'll be attending UB. My hockey career is over. I'm more about baseball right now," said Ryan.

Follow Michael online on Twitter @MrozGazette or email him at michael.mroziak@niagara-gazette.com

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