2008-11-21 / Sports

Aces Skate Into Weekend Holding League Lead

By Howard Schwach

Crowd favorite Jesse Felten goes for the puck against Hershey Bears. Crowd favorite Jesse Felten goes for the puck against Hershey Bears. The Brooklyn Aces, the newest New York City professional hockey team, skates into Aviator Sports tonight, November 22, holding the lead in the Eastern Professional Hockey League, a feat that many locals expected after viewing the team's first four games.

The team has drawn some excitement to Aviator Sports, which is located at Floyd Bennett Field, just north of the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge, which links Rockaway with the Brooklyn mainland. The team has drawn hundreds of spectators to each of its home games, many of them from Rockaway.

Local fans have already begun to show loyalty to their favorite Aces players.

One such favorite is James Brannigan, 24, a smooth-skating, high-scoring forward from Brooklyn, whose family reportedly owns a pork store in Dyker Heights.

Brannigan added to his league-leading goal total last Saturday night with a hat trick against the Danbury Mad Hatters, scoring twice in the first period and once in the final period.

Play around the net sometimes gets nasty. Play around the net sometimes gets nasty. Another favorite seems to be forward Jesse Felten, who stands 5 feet nine inches and weighs 165 pounds, but is a legitimate talent with a chance to make the majors one day. Felten uses his speed and determination to make up for his lack of size.

The Aces goaltender, Eddie Neville, leads the league in goals against average and has a penchant for making spectacular saves.

The Aces will be on the ice on Friday evening, November 21 against the Jersey Rock Toppers.

Former New York Ranger and Hartford Whaler star Nick Fotiu will act as assistant coach for that game and will be available after the game for photos and autographs, a team spokesperson said.

In fact, after each home game, a number of the players come outside the rink to sign autographs for young fans and to pose for photos with those attending the game.

Prices range from $9 for kids in general admission to $35 for skybox seating above the rink.

For less than $20 a fan can sit in the first row off the ice almost anywhere in the arena.

Goalie Eddie Neville in a break in the action last Saturday night. Goalie Eddie Neville in a break in the action last Saturday night.

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