The Broome Dusters gave many in the triple cities their very first live hockey experience, so today I wanted to reflect on my introduction to Hockey in our hometown.

My first introduction to professional sports was in the early 1970’s, hearing my father yell at the television during sports games.

I started watching the Giants and Knicks on TV and became an avid fan, and that progressed into the New York Rangers.

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I became a big fan of hall of fame goalie, and one of the top players in Ranger history Ed Giacomin, and started learning the hockey rules and calls of the game.

I would have given anything to see an actual hockey game in person, but there was no way we could afford a trip to New York City to see a Rangers game.

Then in 1973 minor league professional hockey was coming to Binghamton, and for the first time I would have a chance to see a real hockey game in person.

The Broome Dusters were formed and would play their home games at the Broome county Veteran Memorial Arena.

Finally live hockey was in our home town, and there is nothing like watching this amazing battle on ice in person.

The Broome Dusters (later the Binghamton Dusters)  came with an amazing logo, courtesy of BC Comic strip creator and Binghamton native Johnny Hart.

The pageantry and the music was also part of the magic of live arena hockey, I remember they would play the song “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce as the team took the ice.

AND there was one of the most excited parts of the game, the fights on the ice, watching hockey on TV was two dimensional, with only the eye of the camera picking up any of the action,   but in the Broome County Arena you can see the pushing, shoving, and taunting that went on, sometimes leading up to the big battle and sometime more than one at a time.

The Dusters left town in 1980 but we hockey remained here in our town with the Whalers, Rangers, Iceman, Senators, Devils, and now the Binghamton Black Bears will begin a new era this fall.

Looking back, I will also be grateful to the people who brought hockey to our hometown, and our first hockey team the Dusters.

You can see more of the memories of these great years by visiting the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame inside the Oakdale Mall.

Take a look at some of the memories of the Duster Years in Binghamton


The Broome-Binghamton Dusters


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