2011-11-25 / Sports

Aviators Continue FHL Climb To Fifth Place

By Robby Schwach

Vlad Nikiforov (#9) scored five goals in two games for the Aviators last weekend. Photos by Robby Schwach Vlad Nikiforov (#9) scored five goals in two games for the Aviators last weekend. Photos by Robby Schwach As the FHL season progresses, it’s become clear that there are three tiers of teams. Top squads from 1000 Islands (9-1) and New Jersey (8-2) have been dominant. New teams from Vermont (3-6-1), and Danville (0-12), and returning Cape Cod (3-6-0), are being dominated.

That leaves the Brooklyn Aviators (5-3-3) firmly in the middle tier, struggling with better teams but able to add to point totals by preying on weaker teams.

The difference between a successful season and a failure for the Aviators may be determined by how the team fares against the others in the middle. Brooklyn is joined by Akwesasne

(6-4) and Danbury (7-3) as teams who could go either way on any given night. Brooklyn surprised a better Akwesasne team to start the season, but lost to what should have been an easier foe, Cape Cod, the following evening.

Andrew Owswiak scored a hat trick. Andrew Owswiak scored a hat trick. The FHL’s innovative scoring to determine standings may be Brooklyn’s undoing.

With three points awarded to teams who win in regulation, two for a win in overtime or a shootout, and one for an overtime loss, dominant teams will gather points faster than others.

Teams that struggle in overtime will surely be hurt further. The A’s have lost all three times that their games went to overtime.

Last week the Aviators played Danbury in Connecticut, losing 3-1, with Steve Koich scoring only in the waning minutes of the game. It may be games like this that define where Brooklyn finishes in the standings. Whaler Alec Kirschner scored two goals for the Whalers and was called up by the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL soon after.

Returning home over the weekend, the Aviators beat Cape Cod on Friday night, 5-3, behind a hat trick by Jesse Felten, and Vlad Nikiforov’s three assists and empty net goal. Casey Mignone also scored for the Aviators.

Aviator goalie Tommy Lee makes a save against Akwesasne. Aviator goalie Tommy Lee makes a save against Akwesasne. Saturday night brought back memories of the Aviators’ dominant initial season (2009-2010), as they won easily, 9-3. Danville opened the scoring halfway through the first period. Brooklyn’s Steve Koich took a pass from Andrew Owsiak while killing a penalty, and managed to tie the score two minutes later. Vlad Nikiforov put the A’s ahead a few minutes later with assists credited to Jesse Felten and Colin Ronanye. Andrew Oswiak scored twice, 21 seconds apart within the last minute of the period to put the A’s up for good.

Brooklyn built on their first period success in the second period, scoring four more goals, with Ken Trentowski, Casey Mignone, Jesse Felten (2) netting the puck, while Danville only scored once. Owsiak tallied the last goal of the period, giving him the hat trick. Danville scored once in the third, too little, and much too late.

Chris Ferrazzoli had a goal and four assists during last week’s three game span, placing him seventh among FHL scoring leaders with 19 points.

Brooklyn enjoyed a nice day off on Thanksgiving before picking up play on Friday night, when they travel to New Jersey to take on the Outlaws in a twogame set – both on the road at 7;35 p.m..

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