BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The entire season it has seemed as if the Binghamton Black Bears and Danbury Hat Tricks were on a crash course for each other, destined to face off in the playoffs once again.

It was Danbury who ended the Black Bears season last year, winning 2 games to 1, but this season, Binghamton has other plans.

Friday night begins a best of 3 series with a spot in the Commissioner’s Cup finals on the line between the 2 rivals.

The Black Bears will host game 1 before taking the road for Game 2 on Saturday and Game 3 if needed on Monday.

Earlier today, Interim Head Coach Brant Sherwood spoke on the intensity that these matchups with Danbury bring and the importance of winning Game 1 at home.

“It’s gonna be pretty fiery on the ice,” Sherwood said. “These 2 teams don’t like each other, so it’s gonna be some great hockey to watch… Danbury’s a tough place to play in, it’s very hostile. Their fans are on top of you on the bench, they’re letting you hear it, so this game one is the most important game of the year.”

The pressure is on the Black Bears in Game one, needing to come out with a win before going on the road.

It will not be an easy task, the Hat Tricks held the best record in the Empire Division this season, winning the season series against Binghamton 4-2.

Game 1 begins tomorrow night at 7 p.m.