Lake Placid Film Festival invites ‘Slap Shot’ star

LAKE PLACID — As part of the Lake Placid Film Festival’s kickoff night on Thursday, Oct. 20, organizers have decided to bring a hockey movie to a hockey town. It’s the 45th anniversary of the film “Slap Shot,” directed by George Roy Hill and featuring actor Paul Newman as Reggie and three rough-and-tumble hockey players called the Hanson Brothers.

One of those brothers — Steve — will be the guest speaker when the film is initially screened at the Palace Theatre at 8 p.m. Oct. 20, and during the second screening at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

The character of Steve Hanson was played by Steve Carlson, who lives in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The movie was shot in Johnstown in 1976 and was released a year later.

Carlson was a professional hockey player at the time, starting his career in the early 1970s in his home state of Minnesota, where many of the players on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team — and coach Herb Brooks — lived and grew up. Carlson has never been to Lake Placid before, but he’s looking forward to seeing the home of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey game between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

“A lot of these players I knew growing up,” Carlson said on Tuesday, Oct. 11. “Just to see where it happened, I’m looking forward to it because that’s one of the greatest sports events in the history of hockey.”

The minor league hockey team in “Slap Shot” — the Charlestown Chiefs — is based on one of Carlson’s team, the Johnstown Jets.

A feature story on Steve Carlson will be printed in next week’s issue of the Lake Placid News.

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