Sabres Game Is Put Off After Scoreboard Falls

Posted: November 17, 1996

The $4 million scoreboard at the new Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo crashed to the ice yesterday, hours before the NHL game between the Sabres and Boston.

A cable loosened or snapped as the gigantic board was being lowered for daily maintenance, sending the entire structure to the ice and causing the game to be postponed.

The eight-sided Jumbotron video scoreboard, the centerpiece of the $127.5 million arena, was lowered by the maintenance crew at about 2 p.m. Two panels remained suspended above the ice last night, but the rest of the 40,000-pound scoreboard lay in a heap of parts and wires on the ice surface.

No one was on the ice when it fell, and there were no injuries, Sabres officials said.

COLLEGES Charles Smith, the fourth-leading scorer in Rider College history, has been dismissed from the team, coach Kevin Bannon said.

Smith, who scored 1,693 points and led Rider to a 58-31 record over the last three seasons, had been suspended in July. Bannon said continuing failure to adhere to school policy regarding class attendance was the reason for the dismissal.

The 6-foot-6 forward is a graduate of Chichester High in Boothwyn.

* Matt Brill, a Sterling High graduate who runs for North Central College, won the individual title by 14 seconds over Karl Paranya of Haverford in the NCAA Division III cross-country championships at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.

Brill, second in the national finals last season, finished the 5 miles in 23 minutes, 57 seconds. Paranya ran the distance in 24:11. Wisconsin-LaCrosse won its first team title.

* Donna Pecoraro and Jamie Holtz scored goals as The College of New Jersey defeated Hartwick College, 2-1, to win the NCAA Division III field hockey championship for the second straight year.

TCNJ, formerly called Trenton State, has won eight titles overall, six under coach Sharon Pfluger.

BASEBALL Kirby Puckett, forced to retire from baseball at age 35 this past summer, when glaucoma left him blind in one eye, was named to the Minnesota Twins' board of directors and will become executive vice president of baseball for the Twins on Dec. 1, owner Carl Pohlad said.

* Texas infielder Mark McLemore and Chicago Cubs pitcher Bob Patterson were offered arbitration Friday, which makes them signed players for next season.

Cincinnati decided not to offer Thomas Howard arbitration and placed the outfielder on unconditional release waivers.

Teams had to decide by 12:01 this morning whether to offer eligible players salary arbitration. Those not offered arbitration became eligible to file for free agency at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

* The Reds announced that pitcher Jose Rijo would have exploratory surgery on his right elbow Wednesday and was expected to miss next season. It will be Rijo's third elbow operation in 15 months.

MISCELLANY Seattle Seahawks quarterback John Friesz agreed to a two-year contract extension. Friesz could have become a free agent at the end of the season.

* Michelle Kwan won the women's competition at the Lalique Trophy competition in Paris, and Todd Eldredge won the men's event.

Second among the women was Maria Butyrskaia of Russia, whose artistry rivaled Kwan's. Tara Lipinski, a 14-year-old from Houston, was third.

In the men's competition, Viacheslav Zagorodniuk of Ukraine was second, and Michael Weiss of Fairfax, Va., third.

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