By Warren Kozireski —
In his first professional hockey game after two seasons of collegiate hockey at Northeastern, Devon Levi made several key stops when he needed to and Jeff Skinner scored the overtime game-winner in a 3-2 Buffalo Sabres victory over the New York Rangers Friday night.
“Warmups was unreal, doing my rookie lap looking around and taking it all in, I’ve dreamt that moment my whole life and, to have my family and friends here…with me is just incredible to have that support.
“First period I didn’t face too many shots; the boys shut it down and let get into it and then the shots came slowly. The guys did a good job in front of me letting me see the puck and letting mw do my thing.
“The game went by fast because I was having fun and I guess, when you’re having fun, things go fast. It honestly went by in a blur and it was amazing.”
“We were all cheering for him, but I think the atmosphere was crazy with everyone chanting his name, so he’s a helluva player and a helluva game,” JJ Peterka said about his new teammate.
Buffalo jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Peterka and Jordan Greenway (Canton), but the Rangers clawed back with one in the second period Kappa Kakko and tied the game halfway through the third on an Adam Fox (Jericho) tally.
“It’s just the game of hockey—the game I’ve been playing my whiole life,” Levi said. “There’s a lot of good players out there, but it’s been my dream to be challenged by the best and finally I have an opportunity right now.
“I think this is a start to me improving every single day and helping the guys go on a playoff run; that’s the goal and I’ll be working as hard as I can to be ready for the call.”
And as for the game puck sitting in his locker?
“To my parents—they brought this moment into existence for me helping me from when I started playing hockey when I was four or five. I remember I didn’t want to play at first and I was crying and he (my dad) pushed me that you never quit. And I developed a passion for the game because of him and because my mom bringing to the rink every day, so this goes to them.”