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Beer league player returns for his third Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp

April 6, 2017
By ANDY FLYNN - Editor (aflynn@lakeplacidnews.com) , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Two years ago, shortly after the 1980 players attended their 35th anniversary reunion, the state Olympic Regional Development Authority created the Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp. Fifty-two-year-old Jeff Proulx of Ogdensburg signed up right away, and he's returned every year.

"The first year was really a wow. It was just like crazy, and then I'm like maybe I won't like it the next couple of years, it might wear off, but it doesn't," Proulx said. "It hasn't gotten old."

Neal Broten played on the 1980 Miracle team. He was also a Stanley Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils in 1995. Now he's one of the coaches at the fantasy camp. Proulx was the first person Broten picked for his Blue team, Broten's Bastards. And for good reason. Proulx is talented. He was the MVP for the bronze-medal game and scored six goals at camp this year.

Article Photos

Jeff Proulx of Ogdensburg plays for Broten's Bastards Tuesday, March 28 during the Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

Growing up in Canton, Proulx was 15 years old during the 1980 Winter Olympics. He remembers watching the Miracle on Ice game on TV with his hockey team, and it made an unforgettable impression. That's why, for him, paying more than $6,000 for this four-day fantasy camp made sense.

"I think the experience of just hanging out with these guys that had such an impact on our game, our country at the time. You know the story," Proulx said. "Just being able to sit next to them and be real people. It's amazing. And a lot of people will never get to see that perspective of these guys. And you just talk shop. You talk hockey, and it's kind of an inside look at their world and the stories of Herb Brooks and the tryouts and all the stuff they went through. It's pretty amazing, and that's what I like about it."

Proulx owns his own company, operating 10 Save-A-Lot discount grocery stores from an office in Canton. He has one daughter and three sons, and has coached some of his sons in hockey.

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Jeffrey Proulx Q&A

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LPN: When did you catch the hockey bug?

Proulx: My parents had me on the ice when I was 2, skating at Appleton Arena. We didn't have our other rink in Canton at the time, so they would bring me up Sundays for Sunday skating, and I've skated ever since.

LPN: Did you play at all levels?

Proulx: Yeah, I played all through high school, I played at SUNY Canton, and I went to Canisius (College) in Buffalo and played there.

LPN: Your position?

Proulx: I was left wing.

LPN: You were 15 years old during the Miracle on Ice game. Did you watch it on TV?

Proulx: Absolutely. ... We actually played a game that day. I was like a Pee Wee. We played a game up at Appleton Arena, as a matter of fact, and we went back to a friend's house to have pizza, so the whole team was kind of there. ... It was about three-quarters of our Pee Wee hockey team and some parents were there.

LPN: What was the atmosphere like?

Proulx: It was just crazy. We were all glued to the TV set, and we just couldn't believe it. We tried to emulate the Russians at that time, and you're looking at their game, and it's like, how did they do this? So we were fascinated by their game. And I remember Mike Eruzione's goal like it was yesterday, watching him come down, taking that shot and scoring.

LPN: Did you do any training going into the fantasy camp?

Proulx: Just playing during the year. We play in our beer league still. Molson Maples is our team name in Ogdensburg. ... There's a Sunday night league I play in, and then there's a Monday, Thursday league where all the Canadian teams come to Ogdensburg and we play them.

 
 

 

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