Aviators Gaining Altitude In Standings
With 15 games behind them, the Brooklyn Aviators looked forward to last weekend’s home games with 1000 Islands and Danbury. The roster had stabilized, linemates were starting to “click,” and the shaky goaltending issues were in the past.
The team played well, winning both games, putting them in third place in the league with a record of 8-5 with 4 additional losses in overtime. The FHL’s new franchise in New Jersey, the Outlaws, is out in front with 41 points, trailed closely by the 1000 Islands Privateers with 36 points. The Aviators, with 28 points are just ahead of the Akwesasne Warriors (27) and Danbury Whalers (24). Teams in Cape Cod (13) and Danville (2) trail far behind.
Friday night’s game against 1000 Islands looked to be close, with the Privateers taking a 1-0 lead into the locker room after the first period. The Aviators exploded in the second period with four goals in 13 minutes to take the lead. Defenseman Ken Trentowski scored the first two, with his first goal unassisted and the second on a pass from Jason Dolgy. Jesse Felten scored the third goal with assists from Steve Koich and Casey Mignone. Mignone added the last goal of the period unassisted.
The Aviators losses at home have often come when their opponents come back in the last period. 1000 Islands did just that, scoring twice, bringing them within one goal with seven minutes left to play. While Privateer Jeff Winchester was in the penalty box for boarding, Aviator Matt Atsoff scored on the power play with just over two minutes left to play. Jesse Felten added an empty net goal with 19 seconds left in the game to seal the 6-3 win. Both of the Aviators’ third period goals were as a result of passes from Casey Mignone. Josselin St. Pierre stopped 34 of 37 shots for his second win in as many weeks as an Aviator.
The Aviators faced their Danbury rivals Saturday night. Anthony Iaquinto scored the Aviators’ first goal at 9:48 of the first period, after a pass from Jordan Bernier, by way of KC Timmons. Danbury fought back with a first period goal by Kelly Miller. The Whalers began the scoring in the second period with a goal by Alec Kirschner. After that it was “all Brooklyn,” as the Aviators scored the last three goals of the game. Chris Ferazzoli scored his ninth goal of the year on the power play with an assist credited to Andrew Scampoli. Andrew Owsiak followed that with a goal of his own from Nick Grove and Matt Atsoff at the 8:10 mark of the second period. Ferazzolli padded his team lead in goals on a third period powerplay with his tenth goal, with assists from Andrew Scampoli and Jason Dolgy. The Aviators’ 4-2 win put the team four points ahead of Danbury in the standings.
Danbury’s game against Cape Cod the following evening was noteworthy for two stories. The positive story was the five goals by the Whalers’ Alec Kirschner, including two shorthanded goals and one power play goal as the team won 9-2. The negative story was the brawl that began only five seconds into the game that left eight players with major penalties for fighting, including three game misconducts which will certainly lead to suspensions. Whaler goalie Peter Vetri, just named the number one goalie for the team after a recent call-up to the ECHL for Nick Niedert, was assessed with both fighting and instigating penalties. Later in the first period, the bad blood spilled again and the Whalers’ Corey Fulton was given penalties for slashing, fighting and instigating, as well as a game misconduct. This is not Fulton’s first offense this season and he may face a very serious suspension by the league. He is well known in hockey for the unfortunate incident three years ago, when an Ontario Hockey League opponent, Don Sanderson, fell down and hit his head on the ice during a fight with Fulton. Sanderson fell into a coma and died weeks later.
The Aviators have three home games this weekend, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. game against the leagueleading New Jersey Outlaws. Saturday night, the A’s face off against the Cape Cod Bluefins at 7:05 p.m. The Aviators then take on the Akwesasne Warriors in a rare Sunday afternoon home game at 5:00 p.m.