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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Blizzard packs them in

   Feb. 20, 1998 -- The Buffalo Blizzard never had a better morning, at least in terms of attendance, on this date.

   The indoor soccer team had a successful Kids Day promotion in HSBC Arena, setting an all-time team attendance record. Too bad the game didn't work out as well. The News' Robert J. Summers had this report on the game:

   Matt Knowles, the "Bad Boy" of the National Professional Soccer League, spoiled the Buffalo Blizzard's big day today.

    The Philadelphia Kixx star -- the highest-scoring defender in the National Professional Soccer League -- scored four goals in a 13-11 School Day victory.The gathering of 15,644 at Marine Midland Arena was the biggest crowd the Blizzard has ever played before and the biggest crowd in the franchise's six-year, 122-game history.

    The previous home record of 13,902 was set Nov. 15, 1996, when the team played its first game in the arena against the Detroit Rockers. The crowd also surpassed the 14,738 who turned out March 10, 1995, to see the Blizzard at the Kiel Center in St. Louis.

    The 6-foot-1 Knowles, a strong, physical player who has twice been named the NPSL's Defender of the Year, made all the difference in a game that saw two ties and four lead changes. Doug Miller scored twice for Buffalo, which also got goals from Rudy Pikuzinski, Randy Pikuzinski, Jimmy Glenn, Doug Miller and Nassib Olabi.

--- Budd Bailey

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