I've been a fan of hockey since I was a kid. Growing up in the middle of the country, my only way to experience the game was listening to New York Ranger games coming from a distance AM radio station out of New York City.

After I left home to discover the world, I stopped listening or paying attention to hockey until my wife dragged me to a Binghamton Rangers game in the 1980s. That was the first time I had ever been to a hockey game, and with only one game, I became hooked.

Or rather I was obsessed. For years, I attended every game, closely watched the stats and standings like a super fam might do. There's so much excitement tied to a hockey game, especially on a professional development team. Rooting on those who got called up, enjoying watching a player from the NHL parent team come to Binghamton for whatever reason, was always a treat.

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Hockey has been a huge part of the Binghamton area for decades as the Dusters, Whalers, B.C. Icemen, Senators, and the Devils. I was kind of disappointed the way the Devils left, leaving our hockey community without an AHL team for the first time in a long time.

Thankfully the Federal Prospects Hockey League (FPHL) stepped in and has provided us with a team, so we don't have to go through a season without professional hockey in a community that loves the sport as much as any other community in the U.S. and Canada.

The Binghamton Black Bears open the 2021-2022 home season on November 7th against the Delaware Thunder. The Visions Veterans Memorial Arena is set to go. Take a look at a time-lapse of the preparation for the ice surface below from the Binghamton Black Bears Facebook page, and get ready for the drop of the first puck on November 7th.

via Binghamton Black Bears Facebook

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