Aviators Defensive Duo Speaks With Wave
That the New York Aviators of the Federal Hockey League have had great success this year is largely due to its dynamic defensive duo – goalie Kevin Druce and star defenseman Jarrett Rush.
The Wave caught up with the two after an exciting overtime win against the Cape Cod Barons at the Aviator Sports complex in Brooklyn on February 4.
At the time, Druce, the Aviators’ premier goalie, had a record of 19 wins against only eight losses. He leads the league in wins, goals against average (2.59) and save percentage (.912).
Rush, a tall and rangy defensive defenseman had one goal and 12 assists with a sterling +17 plus/minus rating.
Druce, 28 next week, has played professional hockey since 2001, first with the Bancroft Hawks in the Canadian Junior League and later with York University in the Canadian Interscholastic League. This is his first year with the Aviators, coming from the Twin City Cyclones of the Southern Professional Hockey League, where he won 25 games over two seasons.
Druce was born in Kingston, Ontario; Rush in Pennington, New Jersey.
All of the Aviator players share a rented house in Rockaway Park and both Druce and Rush think that’s great.
“I love it here,” Druce said. “Where else can you get to live in New York City and play the game you really love. It is a perfect situation.”
“I love Brooklyn, and I love Rockaway,” Rush said. “It’s a little cold for the beach now, but I’ve always been attracted to the beach and I want to come back [to Rockaway] in the summer.”
Both men have aspirations of moving on to the next level and, eventually, to the big show – the National Hockey League.
Rush, the American part of the duo, wants to play for the New York Rangers.
“I have always rooted for them,” he said. “That’s where I would love to be, but I would just be happy playing in the NHL.”
Druce, the Canadian, wants to play for the Montreal Canadiens.
“That’s every Canadian boy’s dream,” he said.
The Aviators stand in third place with 52 points, three behind 1000 Islands and four behind the leagueleading Akwesasne Warriors.