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Aviators score big with visits to kids at SUNY Downstate and PS 212 • Brooklyn Paper

Aviators score big with visits to kids at SUNY Downstate and PS 212

The Brooklyn Aviators visited SUNY Downstate Medical Center and PS 212, where fourth-grader Jordan Cochin hit the gym with the team’s star forward, Andrew Owsiak.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Star members of the Brooklyn Aviators hockey team put their end-of-the-season playoff push on ice — for an afternoon, anyway — to visit children at SUNY Downstate Medical Center on Feb. 13 and students at PS 212 on Bay 49th Street in Bath Beach on Feb. 14.

Goalie Jo St. Pierre, forward Mike Thompson, and other players from the Federal Hockey League’s Brooklyn squad dropped by the Flatbush hospital’s pediatric department to play board games and read books to a surprised group of children.

The hockey pros scored a goal with the kids — with an assist from the team’s high-flying, fan-friendly mascot, Ace Eagle.

“The Aviators really cared about the kids and the kids just loved them,” said SUNY Downstate representative Sandy Dell, who asked the team back for a second straight year. “Everyone wanted to have their picture taken with the players and Ace.”

Not content to stop there, the Aviators glided over to PS 212 off Harway Avenue the next day for a skills and sportsmanship clinic with star-struck elementary school students who took turns learning how to push plastic pucks around the school’s hardwood gym.

“Knowing that we can put smiles on these kids’ faces means the world to us,” said Aviators head coach Rob Miller.

The Aviators are finishing up their second season at the arena fans have dubbed “The Hangar” at Floyd Bennett Field.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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