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Devils still acclimating to new home

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BINGHAMTON, NY -

The Binghamton Devils era of hockey in the Southern Tier has officially started.  Binghamton's third AHL team held its first full squad practice at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Tuesday.  Hockey is hockey, so at the end of the day it may not matter as much where a team plays "as long as there's a sheet of ice, two goals, a red line, and two blue lines," said B-Devils Head Coach Rick Kowalsky.  But, the team is excited to learn more about Binghamton.

The team has been in town for just two days, not nearly enough time to learn all the area has to offer.  But so far, they like what they see.  As they practice more and get more used to the dimensions of the arena, they'll also spend more time in the community.  Right now the players are focused on 1) hockey, 2) finding a place to live.  But they're all looking forward to seeing the Arena packed full of fans.

"It's a pretty cozy feel here in this arena.  Obviously I'm looking forward to seeing the fans jammed in here, kind of right on top of you type of feeling," said Forward Blake Speers.  "Obviously I haven't gotten a big feel for the city yet, it's only been a couple of days.  We've been touring around a little bit trying to find potential spots to live.  But other than that, I've had a great feel here so far."

"I think we'll get more familiar with the town, the area, the rink real quick here," Kowalsky said.  "Certainly have been well received by everyone we've seen around the rink.  Guys are looking for apartments, local businesses, stuff like that.  So far, so good.  I think it's been a good first two days, and at the end of the day when you're out on the ice I think everything's kind of the same."

The Devils play their first of two preseason games on Friday in Wilkes-Barre before hosting the Penguins at 5:05 on Sunday, October 1.  The regular season kicks off on October 7 at home against Bridgeport.