The ‘Miracle On Ice’ game may have taken place four decades ago, but it was as if the excitement was brand new at saratoga living‘s Hockey Night In Saratoga celebration, presented by Angiodynamics, on February 26 at Putnam Place. The event was centered around the 40th anniversary of Team USA’s shocking defeat of the mighty Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, just two hours north of the Spa City. (saratoga living covered the momentous anniversary in its recent Winter Issue, with exclusive interviews with team Captain Mike Eruzione and Goalie Jim Craig.)
The evening kicked off at 5:30pm with a VIP hour featuring rigatoni and jambalaya from Jacob & Anthony’s by Marrello Restaurants; beer from Northway Brewing Co. (the featured pour was Northway Brewing’s Oatbituary, a collaboration with Death Wish Coffee); signature vodka drinks such as White Russians and American Apple Pie Shots; tunes by NonStop Music; and a panel discussion with both former and current professional hockey players, moderated by NewsChannel 13’s Mark Mulholland. VIP guests also received special swag bags, which included hockey pucks from the Morning Skate podcast designed by Grant Graphics; hockey lace koozies by SummerSkates; a ticket to an Adirondack Thunder game; chocolate hockey pucks by Austin Bayliss Catering & Cakes; half-filled punch cards for free food at Bellini’s Counter, Marrello Restaurants’ fast-casual dining option; and a personalized Team USA hoodie jersey by Hockey Innovations. The first 25 VIP guests to purchase tickets also received a copy of saratoga living‘s Winter Issue, signed by Miracle On Ice star Jim Craig.
Around 6:30pm, general admission guests started pouring in, and were able to catch the tail end of the panel discussion, in which the former and current pros discussed the legacy of the Miracle game, how they’ve been influenced by Herb Brooks’ coaching style and the accuracy of the Disney movie about the 1980 team, Miracle. Then, after a breathtaking performance of the National Anthem by local vocal phenom Kelsey Dodd, the Miracle game started playing on Putnam Place’s 17-foot LED screen. Guests watched attentively as the US came from behind in the semifinal game, breaking out in celebration as the clock ticked down and hit zero, with US leading 4-3. (The crowd’s joy in the final seconds of the match was captured perfectly by photographer Hannah Lux; check out her photos in the gallery above.) It was February 22, 1980 all over again.
The general admission portion of the event was highlighted by an array of food, including chicken wings by the Olde Bryan Inn, tacos by Harvey’s Restaurant & Bar, pizza by Goodfellas Pizzeria and patriotic cupcakes by Austin Bayliss Cakes, and Outside The Box Photobooth captured super-fun images and boomerangs. Official Miracle On Ice merchandise was also for sale, including hats, shirts, sunglasses, stickers and pins, with more than 50% of the proceeds of the sunglasses going toward the construction of a statue commemorating the Miracle game in Lake Placid.
Angiodynamics was the event’s gold-level sponsor, Union College, Capital Region Living and saratoga living ARTS were silver-level sponsors and Marrello Restaurants was the bronze-level sponsor. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales went to Vernon and Weibel Avenue ice rinks.