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Canadian fan takes in game as retirement present

by Christa Eaton / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins and PPG are working together on a series of stories to feature the most colorful fans in the game.

Many Penguins fans have impressive memorabilia collections, but Jeff Dumville thinks he might have the best one in Atlantic Canada, which includes the three Maritime provinces along with Newfoundland and Labrador.

"It all started as a kid," Dumville said. "Since I was a teenager, that's who I was, I collected things."

Items like posters, pucks, jerseys, cereal boxes, stuffed animals and more are featured in his office. The walls are covered floor to ceiling with Penguins collectibles, showing off how dedicated he is to the team. 

"It kept going," Dumville said. "It started when I was young and it's always been there. It's quite impressive, I think. I would think I'm the biggest fan around Atlantic Canada when it comes to memorabilia. I don't know that for sure, but (regardless), I'm proud of it."  

Dumville first became a Penguins fan back during the 1983-84 season. 

"I was a goalie and Michel Dion was the goalie for the Penguins at the time," Dumville said. "I liked his mask, it had the Penguin there."

Then, of course, the course of Penguins history changed forever when they drafted a kid from Quebec named Mario the following summer.

"When Lemieux came in '84, I gravitated towards him and I've been with him ever since," Dumville said.

Dumville has served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 18 years and is currently stationed in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia - which was another reason for him to be a Penguins fan. 

"Ironically, I'm in the military and I ended up moving to Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia," Dumville said. "I'm stationed there, and it so happens that I'm five minutes from where Sidney Crosby is from."

While living in Canada, Dumville has been able to watch the Penguins play in Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa, but has never gotten the chance to see them in their home arena. 

However, his sister happens to live about an hour-and-a-half away in Ohio, which gave Dumville the perfect opportunity to come to Pittsburgh when the Penguins hosted the Florida Panthers on March 5.

Dumville got into town the night before, so the hours leading up to the game were packed with activities. Then, later that night, Dumville's bucket list goal of seeing the Penguins in Pittsburgh finally came true. 

"This has been something that I've always wanted to do," Dumville said. "With Sid playing here and the Cole Harbour connection, there was really no excuse (not to). With my sister in Ohio, she's like, 'Come on down,' and that's what I did."

It turned out to be a great game for Dumville to attend as the Penguins defeated the Panthers, 3-2, in overtime. 

"I'm retiring from the military, the Canadian Armed Forces, on May 1st," Dumville said. "So this is kind of a treat for my retirement."

Now that Dumville has finally achieved his goal, he wants to do it again in the future. 

"The hardest thing was to get it done first," he said. "Now that I'm here and my sister is close, it's good." 

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