BINGHAMTON, NY – The Binghamton Black Bears played their first games in existence over the weekend, officially ushering in a new era in Binghamton professional hockey.
Now, the attention turns to the upcoming home opener this Saturday night at the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.
Despite just becoming a member of the Federal Prospects Hockey League this year, the Black Bears are already on their second head coach.
After losing their initial coach, James Henry, to an assistant position with the Reading Royals of the ECHL, the Black Bears were able to bring in the highly experienced Rod Davidson.
Davidson has spent time at a variety of levels, which includes the FPHL, giving him some familiarity with the style of play in this league.
For Davidson, he’s excited to be able to be at the helm of a team starting from scratch.
“It’s terrific. It’s so exciting meeting all the new people in Binghamton. The people that, we’ve gone out and had appearances with, have been just fantastic. And I hope we can carry that on. I think it’s been a historical, great hockey town. I hope we can bring the fans out. I hope we can give them the excitement,” he said.
While there may be a lot of excitement for this season and this team, there may be a few learning bumps along the way.
According to the team’s official roster, all but two players are listed as rookies.
The lack of professional experience and level of youth is one of the things that Davidson has noticed about his team so far.
“I see the encouragement amongst the players. They’re building some trust. We have a lot of rookies. We’ve got a really young hockey team out here. We’ve got to coach them up. We’ve got to make sure that we stay in every game with some good goaltending. And we’re hoping we have it.”
With only seven teams in the FPHL during the 2021-22 season, the Black Bears will get to see the same few teams very frequently.
However, that also means the same thing for their opponents, and with a team full of young players, the veterans on the other teams may be able to pick up on their tendencies easier.
One advantage the Black Bears will have is young legs, which will hopefully lead to more opportunities and more stamina as the games and season drag on.
Either way, it’s an exciting time as pro hockey is back in Binghamton, and the best way to experience it is in-person, for yourself.
The Black Bears host the Delaware Thunder this Saturday in their first game in front of the fans they’ve heard so much about.
Puck drop is set for 7 PM.