Aviators harpoon Whalers in stunning 8-1 win

The Aviators whittled their hockey sticks into harpoons on Friday as they beached the Danbury Whalers during a exciting 8-1 rout that showed off the team’s newest talent.

During his first outing in an Aviators jersey, new right-winger Vladimir Nikiforov scored halfway through the first set at the Danbury Ice Arena. Seven minutes later, he helped left-winger Jordan Bernier secure the second goal of the night.

From then on out, there was no stopping the Aviators or Nikiforvov, who helped set up two more net shots and then launched the last of five straight third period goals — the final nail in Danbury’s icy coffin.

Aviators coach Bob Miller signed Nikiforvov, 24, and former Yale University defenseman Ken Trentowski, 23, to the team’s 2011-2012 roster on November 1, roughly a week after the season started.

From the outset, Miller knew that Nikiforvov, who made 31 goals and 61 assists during his four years with the East Coast Hockey League — where he skated for the Utah Grizzlies and the Reading Royals — was going to be an asset to the team.

“Vladimir has blazing speed and the ability to find the back of the net,” Miller explained. “He has played at the higher levels, and will add the experience we need on and off the ice.”

Some payback was dealt in the Aviators stunning victory against Danbury, which last year snapped Brooklyn’s stunning 21-game winning streak on the last night of season play.

The two teams met again in the post-season, where the Aviators beat the Whalers 3-games-to-2 in a nerve-wracking duel that ended in a game five Aviators victory in overtime.

Brooklyn clearly outshot Connecticut on Friday — sending 53 pucks to Danbury’s net. Connecticut fired off 30 shots at Brooklyn goalie Tommy “Big Stick” Lee, who stopped 29 before the final buzzer sounded.

The Brooklyn Aviators will be back home to play the Cape Cod Bluefins at Aviator Sports [3159 Flatbush Ave. in Floyd Bennett Field in Marine Park, (718) 758-7580] on Nov. 5 at 7:05 pm. Tickets $12 ($10 for seniors and children under 14). For information visit www.brooklynaviators.com.

Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at ttracy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2525.

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