First, congratulations to the Binghamton Black Bears hockey team, dominating the 2024 season. The Black Bears were undefeated during each of the playoff rounds.

They finished off the Carolina Thunderbirds in game 3 of a best three out of five series during the championship round, taking possession of the Commissioners Cup in front of a sold-out crowd at the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday, May 10th.

Read More: New License Plate Reader Network Coming To Binghamton

The Black Bears are in the Federal Prospects Hockey League, which is a Single A Minor Professional League, consisting of two divisions, the Continental Division, consisting of six teams, and the Empire Division with five teams including the Binghamton Black Bears and their closest rival, the Elmira River Sharks.

But, the Black Bears will no longer be making the short drive to Elmira as the one-year rivalry comes to an end. According to the FPHL website, the River Sharks have ceased operations, were recently purchased, and will have a new name and home in New York State, to be announced on May 20, 2024.

A statement from the team was listed on the Emira River Sharks and FPHL websites:

The Elmira River Sharks would like to take the opportunity to thank our fans for your loyalty & support this past season. We are truly honored to have been part of the Elmira community. Although the offers we submitted to the arena were rejected, the offers that were made to us in return were not conducive to being able to sustain a professional hockey team in Elmira.  So with that, the team was forced to shut down & cease operations.

However, the River Sharks franchise was recently purchased and will be moving to a new location in the state of New York, so your former River Sharks players will have a new home. That new team location & name will be announced on Monday May 20th.

It will be interesting to find out what New York State town will be the new home for the former River Sharks, and if they will still be in the same division as the Black Bears. Another team is being added to the Federal Prospects Hockey League.

Two more teams are slated to join the FPHL beginning in the 2024-2025 season. One of the teams, according to the Athens Online website, will be the Athens Rock Lobsters (Athens, Georgia) hockey team.

A new Classic Center Arena is currently under construction that will seat 5,500. The other addition to the league will be the Danville Dashers from Danville, Illinois making a return. That team was voted out of their arena in 2021.

As for Elmira, according to the First Arena website, it has been announced that a new team will take over the ice as part of the North American Hockey League. The team name will be the Elmira Aviators, and will begin play in the 2024-2025 season.

The Aviators will be the second New York State team in the NAHL. The other team is the Rochester Junior Americans, located in Fairport. The NAHL consists of four divisions with 35 teams throughout the United States.

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