State Senators Face-off As Stanley Cup Fever Splits New York

William T. Stachowski

April 17, 2007

State Senators from Western New York today challenged their colleagues from the opposite end of the state to a friendly wager over the victor of the first round in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Long Island lawmakers quickly accepted the challenge. Losers agreed to wear their opponent's team's official jerseys in the halls of the State Capitol.

"This is our turn -- our time," declared Senator Dale M.Volker (R, Depew), representing a united front of Western New York Senators, including Senators George D. Maziarz, Mary Lou Rath, William Stachowski and Antoine Thompson in backing the hometown Sabres. "I'll give the New York Islanders a lot of credit for fighting to get in the playoffs, but this year, Lord Stanley's Cup will be coming home to Buffalo and Western New York."

But from 400 miles away, the Long Island Senators were equally defiant.

"Our Islanders have scratched and clawed to come this far, and we plan on winning again," said Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R, Port Jefferson).

Four-time Stanley Cup champions, the Islanders have faced the Sabres three times previously in championship play, prevailing each time. But this year, the Sabres finished at the top of the league and are widely regarded as the best team on ice.

"Ultimately, the four-time Stanley Cup Champion Islanders will come out victorious. The Sabres, on the other hand, will end up like all Buffalo wings -- battered, fried and sent home packing," said Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset).

The teams have not faced each other in championship competition in 27 years.

Game One of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday night at the HSBC arena in the Queen City.