Hockey Hall Of Fame
Fiorentino, Neal Inducted into Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame
- March 6, 2003
Binghamton Senators Press Release
BINGHAMTON, NY - The Binghamton Senators announced today that the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame committee has selected Peter Fiorentino and Roger Neel as its Class of 2003 inductees. Fiorentino and Neel will be honored with a pre-game banquet and an on-ice, pre-game ceremony in conjunction with that night’s American Hockey League game against the Saint John Flames (7:05 p.m.).
Fiorentino, the New York Rangers’ 11th round draft pick in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, was an original member of the Binghamton Rangers when New York moved its top affiliate to the Southern Tier for the 1990-91 season and spent five seasons with the Rangers from 1990 – 1995. After a one-year stint with both Las Vegas and Indianapolis of the International Hockey League (1995-96), Fiorentino returned to Binghamton for what turned out to be the final season of Rangers hockey In the AHL. With the United Hockey League and the B.C Icemen taking over as the primary hockey tenants at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena for the 1997-98 campaign, Fiorentino provided a link to the past as he signed on for the fledgling Icemen’s first season.
In six seasons with the Binghamton Rangers, Fiorentino patrolled the blueline for three Southern Division championship clubs in addition to one second place finish. Fiorentino’s career offensive numbers with the Rangers totalled 30 goals and 68 assists for 98 points in six seasons. But the 6’1” defender’s bread and butter was his physical play prior to the ice surface being expanded at the Arena. Fiorentino totalled 1,581 penalty minutes in 386 AHL contests. The Fiorentino-led defense allowed a league-low 246 goals during the record-setting 1992-93 campaign that saw the Rangers win 57 of 80 contests, including 25 on the road, for 124 points, all of which are still league standards today. He appeared in 35 games with the Icemen, picking up two goals and nine assists for 11 points and 78 PIMs.
Neel, currently the morning host on News Talk 1290 – WNBF, was an integral part of the Binghamton hockey scene for eights seasons as he served as the radio play-by-play voice of the Broome Dusters (1978-80) and the Binghamton Whalers (1980-86). His energetic style and enthusiasm for the game was evident in every broadcast and while there are no statistics for broadcasters, the teams Neel covered went 297-294-5 in 640 regular season broadcasts over eight years. Neel broadcast for two Whaler divisional championship seasons. The first came during the 1981-82 campaign when Binghamton captured the Southern Division title and went on to face the overall regular season champion New Brunswick Hawks in the finals, falling four games to one. The second came as Binghamton raced to a league-best 112 points and the Southern Division title in 1984-85 before being upended by the Baltimore Skipjacks in the Calder Cup semifinals.
Neel’s work was recognized by the American Hockey League in the spring of 1985 when he was named the James H. Ellery Memorial Award winner. The award is presented annually to individuals of the news media (newspaper, radio, and TV) who have contributed the most to the progress of the American Hockey League. In addition to his morning host duties at WNBF, Neel currently is the radio playby- play voice of the Binghamton University Bearcats men’s basketball team and can be found many spring and summer evenings serving as the public address announcer for the Eastern League’s Double-A Binghamton Mets Baseball Club. When not on the air, Neel is also a driving force in the community while serving as second vice president of the local chapter of the American Heart Association, a member of the CHOW Hunger Walk Committee, and as past president of the Broome Sports Foundation.
Fiorentino and Neel will be the guests of honor at a pre-game dinner/reception in the Arena Club beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 14th. A limited number of tickets (75) are available to the event and are priced at $20.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased only at the Senators’ third floor offices at the Arena, or by calling 722-SENS (7367). On-ice pre-game ceremonies prior to that night’s contest against the Saint John Flames will mark their formal induction into the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame was created during the 1997-98 season as a means of honoring and preserving the rich hockey tradition that has spanned 30 years in the Southern Tier. The Class of 2003 is the sixth set of inductees to be honoured with pre vious classes listed below:
1997-98: Ken Holland, Jim Matthews, Randy MacGregor 1998-99: Jacques Caron, Rod Bloomfield, Paul Stewart 1999-2000: Larry Pleau, Paul Crowley, Paul Fenton 2000-01: Craig Duncanson, Pierre Laganierre, Brad Shaw 2001-02: Chris Cichocki, Peter Sidorkiewicz, Ross Yates