In 1972, a young Binghamton entrepreneur had an idea – bring professional hockey to New York State’s Southern Tier. Everyone thought he was crazy. At that time few people in the area knew anything about hockey: it wasn’t played in schools, hockey equipment wasn’t sold in sporting goods stores, and professional games from the NHL were rarely, if ever televised. However, Jim Matthews loved hockey and had played it since he was a young boy growing up in Parry Sound, Ontario. He believed that hockey and the blue-collar roots of the “Valley of Opportunity” were a perfect fit, and he set out to prove it.
The Dusters, a one-hour documentary from Emmy-winning filmmaker Brian Frey chronicles the birth and rise of the sport of hockey in the Southern Tier, a sport that now 35 years later is played by thousands of area youth and adults alike. Through rare archival and personal footage and captivating true-life accounts from both players and fans, The Dusters brings to life those first years of the sport that captivated the area’s imagination, and brought together a community like never before.