Aviators Get Brief Thanks Before Losses To Outlaws
A new goalie and two new forwards led the team to a commanding 5-2 victory at home the night before. And the team they beat was none other than first place Thousand Island Privateers, a team that had only lost once previously this season.
The Aviators jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the middle of the second period, with goals by Chris Ferrazzoli, Casey Mignone and newcomer Jason Dolgy. Dolgy became part of the available pool of talent after the FHL’s Vermont franchise suspended operations earlier in the week.
Dolgy, a 26-year-old forward from Montreal, had five goals and 14 points in eight games for Vermont, and immediately made an impact upon landing in Brooklyn.
Another newcomer, Matt Atsoff, a 25- year-old forward from Michigan, scored the first goal of the third period to put the Aviators ahead 4-1. Atsoff had previously scored 90 points in almost as many games while playing for UMASSBoston. After Thousand Islands struck back with another goal in the third, Vlad Nikiforov scored into an empty net to seal the victory.
But the biggest addition to the team was busy making 24 saves on 26 shots in the game. Josselin St. Pierre, who had ironically led Thousand Islands toward the playoffs last year, before being called up to stints in Mississippi (CHL) and Louisiana (SPHL), was in nets for Brooklyn, replacing the disappointing Tommy Lee, who was let go by the team.
So as the newly confident Aviators and their fans enjoyed their turkey, the future looked bright. Somewhere between the potatoes and the cranberry sauce, things began to unravel.
First, high-scoring forward Vladmimir Nikiforov (9 goals, 11 assists, and 20 points in 10 games) was called up to the new Bloomington, Indiana franchise in the CHL. Nikiforov made an immediate impact with his new team, with an assist on the winning goal in his first game as a member of the Blaze. It was his team’s first win in franchise history after dropping their first 12 games. Back in Brooklyn, the Aviators faced a two-night away series with the New Jersey Outlaws. On Friday night, the A’s started off on the right foot, with Matt Atsoff getting his second goal with the team. The Outlaws then proceeded to score five straight goals, with two coming off the sticks of former Aviators Matt Putureri and John Goffredo.
The Aviators fought back with goals by Casey Mignone and Andrew Owsiak, but they were not enough, and the game ended 5-3 in favor of the home team.
Saturday evening was typical of the hard-hitting, high-energy hockey that teams in the Federal Hockey League have provided for fans. The Aviators came out of their locker room flying high, and had several chances early that were stopped by New Jersey goalie Dan McWhinney. But when the Outlaws got going halfway through the first frame, they scored three straight goals on their first three shots of the game, within a two minute period.
Brooklyn wouldn’t give up. Jack-ofall trades (and positions) Andrew Scampoli scored his first goal of the season, on a power play, with assists credited to Ken Trentkowski and K.C. Timmons. Scampoli, a perennial fan favorite, and one of the only players left from the Aviators’ parent, the Brooklyn Aces, has been covering places on various lines and playing among the defensive corps to fill in gaps in the roster.
The Aviators will return home tonight to play the Danbury Whalers at 7:35 p.m. Brooklyn will have a Saturday night contest against 1000 Islands at the Aviator Sports Complex starting at 7:05 p.m.