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Bill Hoppe


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Joe Cecconi laughed and acknowledged he had never thought much about the mileage he racked up driving from Youngstown to the University of Michigan to watch his grandson, former Wolverines captain Joseph Cecconi, play hockey. So he did some quick math in his head. Before playing four years in Ann Arbor, Joseph spent almost two seasons with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, a ju…

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Longtime Sabres beat writer Bill Hoppe of BuffaloHockeyBeat.com, is writing about Sabres prospects, the Rochester Americans and related topics this season. ROCHESTER — After earning his first regular NHL duty last season, a confident Nick Baptiste signed a new contract and expected he would stay in the Sabres organization. Not only did Baptiste, 23, play a career-hig…

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Had Zach Redmond stayed healthy, he likely would’ve made a run at the American Hockey League’s single-season record for most goals by a defenseman. The Rochester Americans' star scored a whopping 13 goals in the first 19 games. Redmond, of course, couldn’t keep up that torrid pace, but he kept producing at an elite level well into the winter. The mark of 30 goals set…

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Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor, whose name has been mentioned as a possible replacement for former Sabres coach Phil Housley, said he hasn’t interviewed or talked with the team about the opening. “I’m just concentrating on this year and our players and our team right now,” Taylor said Thursday. The Sabres fired Housley on Sunday following a disappointing 76-p…

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For three seasons, winger Justin Bailey often shuttled between Buffalo and Rochester, earning some NHL action while establishing himself as one of the Rochester Americans’ top scorers. Bailey, 23, was used to the grind of being a prospect. But the Buffalo Sabres never yo-yo'd the Williamsville native back and forth almost daily. After the Sabres traded Bailey to Phil…

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ROCHESTER – Nathan Paetsch figured sooner or later his services would be needed. Defensemen are usually a precious commodity this time of year. After six months and nearly a full season of games, injuries, recalls and trades weaken American Hockey League blue lines. Earlier this season, Paetsch, 36, ranked 10th on the Americans’ depth chart. The affable veteran sat o…

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Longtime Sabres beat writer Bill Hoppe of BuffaloHockeyBeat.com, will be writing about Buffalo Sabres prospects, the Rochester Americans and related topics this season.Sabres prospect Casey Fitzgerald said he never considered free agency. After finishing his career at Boston College last month, Fitzgerald, 22, could have waited until August and hit the open market inste…

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ROCHESTER – Early in Tage Thompson’s first American Hockey League appearance in more than a year, the newcomer looked determined to make an immediate impact. Instead of simply clearing the puck during a kill, the Americans newcomer sent it sailing 130 feet down the ice and over the glass, earning a delay of game penalty. The Laval Rocket tied the game during the ensu…

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Longtime Sabres beat writer Bill Hoppe of BuffaloHockeyBeat.com, will be writing about Sabres prospects, the Rochester Americans and related topics this season.ROCHESTER – Instead of building on a strong rookie season and working his name into the mix for a recall, Sabres prospect Sean Malone has spent the last seven months battling injuries. Malone, of course, is frust…

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ROCHESTER – At first, Sabres prospect Matej Pekar thought he was just being soft when he skated off the ice after getting leveled Jan. 10. “It was just a bad angle of a hit, not even a dirty hit, I’d say,” Pekar said last week in Blue Cross Arena. “I basically took the puck into two, three guys and one guy lifted my stick.” Then Pekar, who was in the midst of a stand…

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Longtime Sabres beat writer Bill Hoppe of BuffaloHockeyBeat.com, will be writing about Sabres prospects, the Rochester Americans and related topics this season.ROCHESTER – After spending his entire career in the Philadelphia Flyers organization, Taylor Leier has quickly acclimated to the Americans and his new surroundings. On the ice, Leier has scored nine goals and 16 …

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Longtime Sabres beat writer Bill Hoppe of BuffaloHockeyBeat.com, will be writing about Sabres prospects, the Rochester Americans and related topics this season. ROCHESTER – Chris Taylor wasn’t exactly sure what Rasmus Asplund meant by saying he has started playing more like a man. “Maybe he’s got more facial hair?” the Americans coach joked. “I don’t know.” Well, …

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ROCHESTER – In Zach Redmond’s mind, Sabres defense prospect Lawrence Pilut possesses the talent to play in the NHL right now. Of course, after sending Pilut back to the Rochester Americans and trading Nathan Beaulieu late last month, the Sabres still have eight healthy defensemen. They’ve been scratching two every game. “It’s a question of when there’s room for him,”…

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ROCHESTER — C.J. Smith said he kept telling Rochester defenseman Will Borgen he should get into a fight. After nearly a year in the AHL, Borgen had not yet been in a scrap. Smith knew his 6-foot-2, 187-pound teammate would hold his own. “I kind of pushed him to get in one,” joked Smith, Borgen’s friend and roommate. On Feb. 20 against the Cleveland Monsters, Borge…

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Longtime Sabres beat writer Bill Hoppe of BuffaloHockeyBeat.com, will be writing about Sabres prospects, the Rochester Americans and related topics this season.Liz Smith said her gut told her it was the right decision. Her son, C.J., had outgrown the competition around Des Moines, Iowa. The family wanted to find out if he had a future in hockey. So to test C.J.’s talent…