Local Trio Cherishing Chance to Represent Hometown on the Black Bears
The Binghamton Black Bears head to North Carolina this weekend for a 3-game set with the Thunder Birds. While much of the team may have an eye towards the playoffs for which the team clinched a spot in, a trio of local players are soaking up every moment of the ride this season.
“It’s just a special feeling really sometimes it’s hard to put into words,” says Black Bears Forward Geno DeAngelo. “Just skating out onto the ice and seeing all the fans it’s so special, it’s like a dream come true.”
Black Bears forward, Geno DeAngelo, a Susquehanna Valley High School graduate, is one of three players on the team that grew up in the Binghamton area. He’s joined by Binghamton High School grad Gavin Abbott and Chenango Valley’s MJ Maerkl. All three thought they were done playing until the Black Bears came to Binghamton, opening the door on lacing up the skates again.
“Every home game I’ve got to go get tickets for family and friends and what not,” says Black Bears Forward Gavin Abbott. “Everyone is stoked, it’s a good thing I’ve been missing hockey for years and I know my family is glad to me seeing me play again.”
This isn’t the first time the trio has shared the ice. Along with some time together as youths, they also played on the same junior team after high school.
“When we were about 18/19 years old, we played juniors together down in Wilkes-Barre so we’re just rekindling the flames here, it’s pretty cool,” says Abbott.
“We always find each other on the ice, we’re kind of clicking back into where we left off when we were playing together,” says Black Bears Defenseman MJ Maerkl. “You don’t really lose chemistry after you build it with guys like that. To be able to do it at this level is a good feeling.”
There have been some moments that have really exemplified the local impact. Such as the night DeAngelo notched his first professional hat trick.
“It was on a special jersey night for Lupo’s which is kind of special and unique to the area,” says DeAngelo. “So, it was kind of funny that the local guy gets a hat trick on Lupo’s Night.”
While their hockey futures after this season are uncertain, the opportunity to represent their hometown is something they’ll always cherish.
“It’s kind of hard to put into words,” says Maerkl. “Still sometimes I find myself listening to the national anthem on the blue line just shell shocked, especially because of the support we’ve gotten.”
“It’s awesome I mean it’s an honor to play in Binghamton for the City of Binghamton,” says Abbott. “I grew up going to games in this rink my whole life, it’s just a humbling experience and it’s something great to be a part of.”