Danbury OT Winner Eliminates Aviators From Playoffs
Sean O’Malley scored 1:54 into the overtime session to lift the Danbury Whalers over the Brooklyn Aviators 5-4 to clinch the best-of-three playoff series on Sunday night in Federal Hockey League action.
With the win, the Whalers move on to the semi-finals round against the 1000 Islands Privateers, while the Aviators‘ season is unfortunately over.
Whalers’ captain James Sanford put Danbury up 1-0 after his slap shot from the left point beat A’s netminder Jo St. Pierre, who appeared to be screened in front 1:07 into the first period. Alex Goupil would double the Whalers’ lead, 2-0, on his third goal – in as many nights – of the series, 2:26 later. However, Joe Dabkowski and Jason Dolgy scored two goals for Brooklyn in a span of 1:10 to tie the game 2-2 with 14:22 left in the first.
Brooklyn went on a 5-on-3 power play in the second period after the Whalers took two penalties inside their offense zone. Casey Mignone helped Brooklyn capitalize on the two-man advantage, as he lit the lamp 6:57 into the middle frame to give the Aviators a 3-2 edge.
Dolgy set up Mignone on a beautiful backdoor feed from Dolgy in the right wing circle for his second of the series. Rob Schweyer then recorded his first marker of the post season on a giveaway in front of Whalers goalie Peter Vetri to double the A’s lead at 4-2 with 10:10 left in the second.
Danbury cut into the lead, 4-3, with 1:43 left in the frame when a loose puck got behind St. Pierre and Greg Holt was there on the doorstep to put home the puck.
A fluky goal 10:01 into the third period tied the game for the Danbury Whalers, 4-4, after Sean O’Malley threw the puck towards the net to only hit an Aviator skate camped out in front of St. Pierre.
Aviators Take Game 2
Chris Campanale scored the gamewinning goal 8:32 into the third period and Jo St. Pierre stopped 44 shots as the Brooklyn Aviators defeated the Danbury Whalers, 5-2, to tie their bestof three series at one game each on Saturday night.
Campanale had three points on the night to pace the A’s offense in the victory.
Devin Guy opened the scoring in game two for the Whalers in the first period, after his wrist shot from the slot beat St. Pierre high over the glove at the 11:27 mark. Down 1-0, Brooklyn continued to pepper Danbury goalie Peter Vetri with quality chances. However, the FHL’s Rookie of the Year stood tall turning aside all 10 shots he faced.
Campanale would tie it for Brooklyn, 1-1, with his breakaway tally 2:56 into the second period. After a dump in by the Whalers went right onto St. Pierre, Ken Trentowski hit Campanale with a home run pass at the Danbury blue line. Campanale then broke in on Vetri and lifted a backhand over the netminder’s right pad. Brooklyn then capitalized on a turnover in the slot as Jason Dolgy roofed a loose puck over the right shoulder of Vetri to give the Aviators the 2-1 lead with 13:23 left in the middle frame.
Alex Goupil, though, tied the contest for Danbury – once again – on a one timer from the right wing circle with just 1:02 left in the second to set up another dramatic period.
Late in the third period, and on the power play, Jesse Felten would give the A’s an extra boost with his blast from the left wing circle that got past the left arm of Vetri putting Brooklyn up 4-2. Mike Thomson added the icing on the cake, as his late tally with 2:23 left in the game put the A’s up for good 5-2.
Danbury Wins Game 1
The Danbury Whalers defeated the Brooklyn Aviators 5-4 in overtime to take game one of this best of three series on Friday night in playoff action at the Aviator Sports and Events Center.
Andrew Willock scored the game-winner 13:40 into the extra session on a rebound goal in front to end arguably one of the more exciting games this season.