2012-01-13 / Sports

New FHL Rules Cause Confusion For Many Teams

By Robby Schwach

Ace turns another year older this week. Ace turns another year older this week. As the Federal Hockey League passed the season’s half-way point, the Brooklyn Aviators found themselves in third place, despite dropping both away games against the Thousand Island Privateers last week.

Under the newest set of FHL rules regarding standings and scoring, which may be changed again by press time, team placement in the standings will be determined by winning percentage rather than points. So the Aviators found themselves ahead of Danbury (despite having won three fewer games) for third place.

The FHL had started the season with an innovative point system where teams would get three points in the standings for a regulation game win, two points for an overtime win, and one point for a tie game at the end of regulation play.

Under the old system, Brooklyn would be a full eight points behind Danbury. But two actions negated the use of the point system. First, the new team in Green Mountain, Vermont folded. Some other teams had played Vermont and beaten them and others hadn’t played them yet. This left a potentially lopsided schedule.

Defenseman Nick Grove scored his first goal of the season for Brooklyn last weekend. Defenseman Nick Grove scored his first goal of the season for Brooklyn last weekend. Then, in a faulty attempt to replace Green Mountain in the schedule, the league established the Delaware Federals, a rag-tag bunch of players who would play without a home, playing only road games to fill the other teams’ home dates in place of Green Mountain.

But the team that the league created lost their first game 18-0, with their poor goalies facing more than 105 shots on goal.

While individual scoring stats in the game shouldn’t count for season ending totals, team victories against this subpar team would count, meaning that teams that still had three games against Delaware would surely get three easy wins, while others that had lost to Vermont (before they became Delaware) would count against them. So, the rules changed again, allowing winning percentage to trump the points system and overall wins. If you’ve figured this all out without a slide rule, a calculator, and an atlas, you’ve got one up on me.

Back in Brooklyn, the Aviators dropped their two latest games by scores of 6-4 and 4-1. Rockaway’s own, Andrew Scampoli scored the lone goal in the 4-1 loss, while Nick Grove, Lucas Schott, Matt Atsoff and Jesse Felten had goals in the other game.

The Aviators played away on Wednesday, against Cape Cod but have two home games this weekend. If you love sports mascots (and who doesn’t) or have one of those “furry” fetishes, be sure to come Friday night, January 13 to celebrate the birthday of Ace, the Aviators’ mascot.

The game against league-leading New Jersey begins at 7:35 p.m. but with Ace being something of a party animal, the fun doesn’t end until he finally goes back to his nest long after the game ends. Be sure to bring your party hat and a gift appropriate for a giant, stuffed bald eagle. The Aviators host a rare Sunday afternoon game on January 15 at 5:00 p.m. against the Danville Dashers, who are currently 1-19.

If you are a current city employee, be sure to check out the Municipal Credit Union-sponsored games later this season when you can get in to three games for free. MCU nights are Friday, January 27, at 7:35 p.m. vs. the Akwesasne Warriors, Friday, February 10, at 7:35 p.m. vs. the Danbury Whalers, and Friday, March 2, at 7:35 p.m. vs. the Danbury Whalers. You need an MCU card or proof of city employment to take advantage of this offer, see the Aviator web site (www.brooklynaviators.com) for more information.

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