A Buffalo treasure and a legendary member of the Sabres

Nov 23, 2018; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres play by play announcer Rick Jeanneret in the TV booth before announcing a game against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 23, 2018; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres play by play announcer Rick Jeanneret in the TV booth before announcing a game against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
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When the Buffalo Sabres score a goal, there is a jolt of excitement, unless that goal comes in the third period of a blowout loss. Countless times over the past half-century, the source of that shot of adrenaline has been the voice of the venerable Rick Jeanerette. Last month, R.J. announced that the 2021-2022 season will be his last behind the microphone. He has left an indelible mark on our existence as fans of the Buffalo Sabres and he will be dearly missed.

There are lots of different ways R.J. brings Sabres goals to life and they all provide joy.

Sometimes we hear a short but enthusiastic “SCORE!” and other times we get the long, drawn-out “SCOOOOOOOOOORE!”

When the Sabres score with the man advantage, he gives a brief description of the play and puts a bow on it with “on the POWERplay!”

When the goal comes in overtime, it is even better. We get the long-drawn-out “SCORE” followed by a brief description of the goal and it is all punctuated by “and the Sabres win it (breath) in OOOOOOOOOOOVERTIME!”

And then, of course, many goals that are scored high in the net get the signature “TOP SHELF, WHERE MOMMA HIDES THE COOKIES.”

Even great saves by goalies are fun. Who can forget “MILLERRRRRRRRRRRR” or “CALL A COP, HE ROBBED HIM BLIND!”

The vintage Jeanerette offerings also include “Lalalalalalalalalafontaine” and Stuuuuuuuu Barnes.”

Some of Jeanerette’s most memorable post-season calls include the “May Day” call when Brad May scored the series-winning goal against the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 1993 playoffs and his Jimmy Hoffa reference after Dave Hannan beat the Devils in the 4th overtime in Game 6 of the first round the following year.

My fondest Rick Jeanerette playoff memory came in April of 1997 when Derek Plante beat the Ottawa Senators with an overtime goal in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. I was all by myself in the house when the goal was scored, and I leaped out of my chair and yelled “score” for a long time. R.J. must have gotten a bigger breath than I did because his “score” was still going strong long after I ran out of air.

These sounds are not just iconic. They are connections to our youth. When I was a kid growing up in Williamsville in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Jeanerette would sometimes say “and the puck goes over the glass and into the crowd, and a lucky fan from CHEEKtowaga has a souvenir.”

I remember turning to my father one night and asking “Hey Dad, how does he know that guy is from Cheektowaga?” Hearing R.J.’s voice all of these years later still brings me back and makes me love watching the games even when the Sabres are losing.

The Buffalo News reported that R.J. will call 20 games this coming season and I am planning on savoring every moment. Let’s hope the Sabres score a ton of goals during those 20 games. No shutouts, please!

Next. Sabres name two alternate captains before season opener. dark

Mr. Jeanerette, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your service and for all of the wonderful memories.