BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The Binghamton Black Bears are just days away from dropping the puck on their new season.

After a successful year in 2021-22 that saw the team make the playoffs in their first year, the Black Bears are looking to build on that success and win a championship this year.

Speaking to the media on Monday, first year Head Coach Gary Gill told us that the team is pumped up leading up to the season, excited to start the journey.

“I’ll tell you what, they’re fired up, they’re ready to go,” Gill said. “If we could drop the puck today, they’d go. You know, they’re working extremely hard, getting my systems down and the things I’d like to see us do and again, upper echelon guys, the foundation fellas are here working and showing the way and leading the way, so, it makes it easy for a coach when I have guys that I can just count on to do their jobs and lead by example.”

There are quite a few returners on the roster, which Forward Geno DeAngelo thinks will help the team reach their goal of winning a championship.

“It helps with having returners,” DeAngelo said. “Having veterans that played and have seen the playoffs and seen everything that goes into winning a ring and how tough it really is. So, it’s gonna really help with having them come back and having the new talent here that’s ready to work hard everybody’s got a good mindset here.”

Another returner, Gavin Yates, also wants to see the teamwork and effort show on gameday when the Black Bears take the ice.

“I think we gotta play as a team,” Yates said. “When guys come out and we’re not trying or whatever, fans can see that stuff so we gotta work hard.”

In terms of the style of play fans can expect to see on the ice this year, Gill has a specific approach in mind.

“Bigger, stronger, faster, let’s get after it physically,” Gill said. “This is a blue-collar town, we want to be a blue-collar team. So, whatever we have to do to make sure that we’re giving back to this community, both on the ice and off the ice is exactly what we’ll do.”

The Black Bears kick off their season at home on Friday at 7 p.m. when they host the Elmira Mammoth.