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Sabres Fans From Austria See Only 30 Seconds Of Playoff Game

Austrian hockey fans traveled to Buffalo to see Thomas Vanek play just 30 seconds of hockey (Getty Images)

It just killed me to read in the Buffalo News about the father and son from Austria who planned a trip to Buffalo to see Thomas Vanek and the Sabres for Game Four Wednesday night in their playoff series against the Flyers only to arrive with just 30 seconds left in the game.  The two started to plan for their trip April 8th after the Sabres clinched a playoff spot but because of the weather they were stuck in New Jersey as the game began.  When they finally arrived in Buffalo the third period was already underway.  They grabbed a taxi and when they arrived at HSBC Arena time was winding down.  When they finally got to their seats they got to experience the final 30 seconds of the Sabres’ 1-0 victory.

Why Buffalo?  And why Vanek?  Vanek is a viewed as a national hockey hero in Austria.  He was drafted fifth overall by the Sabres in 2003 – the highest any Austrian-born player has ever been drafted in the NHL.  I have waited patiently many times in the Buffalo locker room to talk to Vanek while a German or Austrian reporter or TV crew interviews Vanek in German. 

Alois and Thomas Lindner did get to spot their hero #26 just briefly before the end of the game.  But because the Sabres did win it guarantees a Game Six on Easter Sunday.  The Lindners have readjusted their schedule so they can stay in Buffalo and see Game Six from beginning to end.   Here’s the story in the Buffalo News Austrian Hockey Fans See Only 30 Seconds of Game

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