Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, a Michigan native, was just 5 years old when he watched Team USA notch an improbable victory over the Soviets.
Thomas seemed almost star struck when he took a seat in the same locker room once graced by his idol, USA goalie Jim Craig.
"I already had some inkling that I wanted to be a goalie, but those Olympics and Jim Craig sealed the deal," he said. "That's why I became a goalie - my goal from age 5 until really age 20 was to play in the Olympics, not the NHL. Not that I didn't want to play in the NHL, but the main goal was to play in the Olympics."
Thomas made that dream a reality last year, playing for Team USA and earning a silver medal for his country at the Vancouver Olympics.
And while the players and coaches espoused the benefits of spending downtime in the Olympic village, local officials were thrilled to have a high profile professional sports team in town.
Jon Lundin is spokesman for the Olympic Regional Development Authority.
"To have a Lake Placid byline in so many newspapers, on radio stations, and on television stations this time of year is a tremendous value not just to ORDA but to Lake Placid as well," he said. "People who are fans of hockey pick up the paper and see Lake Placid associated with the Boston Bruins - that's priceless for this time of year."
Members of the Bruins were psyched to be in Lake Placid, but they didn't actually skate in the historic 1980 Rink, because its dimensions don't meet NHL standards.
Instead, players ran drills on the neighboring USA Rink.