Ice bandits: Aviators skate to third place following back-to-back wins • Brooklyn Paper

Ice bandits: Aviators skate to third place following back-to-back wins

Aviators center Matt Atsoff snatches the puck from the Danbury Whalers during Brooklyn’s 4-2 victory at Floyd Bennett Field on Friday.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

The A’s are movin’ on up!

Back-to-back wins, including a second victory against the first-place 1,000 Islands Privateers, has the Brooklyn Aviators in third place in the Federal Hockey League — a far from stellar, yet comfortable, spot, for the squad is beginning to find its ice legs during the seventh week of regulation play.

And coach Robert Miller says things are looking up for a squad that’s lost key players to injuries (and competing leagues) in recent weeks.

“It’s going good,” Miller explained on Monday. “We’re not the most talented team in the league, but we’re working hard. If we play as well as we did this weekend we should do well, but we want to improve ourselves all the time.”

The Aviators kicked off the weekend by schooling the Danbury Whalers 4-2 on Friday night at the Aviator Sports and Events Center, fondly known by the fans at the Hangar.

Coming off an embarrassing 1-3 weekend that ended with back-to-back losses against the hated New Jersey Outlaws, the Aviators were born again on Dec. 2 as they cut up the ice, netting an early 1-0 lead against Danbury halfway through the first period.

The Aviators may have had a little extra juice in their skates, but the Whalers ultimately tripped over their own tail: its players were boxed repeatedly throughout the third period, making it even easier for Brooklyn to seize the victory and for Aviator right-winger Chris Ferazzoli to score his second goal of the night.

The momentum carried into Saturday night, where they made salad dressing out of the 1,000 Islands Privateers, besting the Alexandria Bay squad 6-3 as Jesse Felten scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season.

The sea-skating skallywags now have 11 wins, one overtime win, one overtime loss and three losses — two of which were meted out by the 8-0-4-5 Aviators.

But the team may still need a Zamboni to ensure there’ll be smooth ice ahead: Tommy “Big Stick” Lee, the team’s awesomely named goalie, was recently booted for his poor performance, and the Boys of Winter learned on Monday that they lost Jason Dolgy, who had six goals and 15 assists for both the Aviators and the Vermont Wild this season. Dolgy left the team to play for the South Professional Hockey League, which Miller once played for.

“[Dolgy’s departure] was a big loss for us,” said Miller.

The roster shake-up couldn’t come at a worse time. This weekend, the Aviators will be skating at home against a terrible trifecta: the New Jersey Outlaws and the Cape Cod Bluefins, teams that have repeatedly beaten Brooklyn this season, and the Akwesasne Warriors, the team that stole the cherished Commissioner’s Cup from Brooklyn during last season’s playoffs.

The Brooklyn Aviators will begin their terror tour against the New Jersey Outlaws at Aviator Sports [3159 Flatbush Ave. in Floyd Bennett Field in Marine Park, (718) 758-7580] Dec. 9 at 7:35 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.

Aviators left-winger Steve Koich tries to sneak past Whaler Adam Blanchette during Brooklyn’s 4-2 victory over Connecticut.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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