While looking to make a comeback, 12 New York Aviators hockey players share a beach house.
BY Vinnie Rotondaro
Tuesday, November 9th 2010, 4:00 AM
Read the article as it appears in the New York Daily News HERE.
(Bachner for News)
Members of the NY Aviators Hockey team pose for a photo on the stoop of the team house.
It's just like MTV's "The Real World," where strangers are thrown together in one house - only this time with rock-'em sock-'em Brooklyn pro hockey players living in Queens.
A dozen members of the Marine Park-based New York Aviators are working it on the ice - and living together in a cramped beach house in Rockaway Park, Queens.
"It's like a frat house, only without a college and an education," said Nicholas Kuquali, 25, a defenseman from Pittsburgh, who shares a rail-thin room with John Goffredo, 23, a center from upstate Orange County.
This season's 18-member team is hoping to make a comeback after the team's league - the North East Professional Hockey League - went under last year.
The Aviators are now part of the Federal Hockey League - and the team aims to win the championship.
"We have some guys that play rough and tough and that's the Brooklyn persona," said coach Rob Miller during a practice session at the the Aviator Sports and Events Center on Flatbush Ave.
Decked out in white-and-red scrimmage jerseys, the Aviators were bulleting down the ice and hammering each other into the boards during a drill.
After practice, 12 team members hopped into cars and drove across the Marine Parkway Bridge to the Beach 120th St. house, where they have lived since last month.
The house is stuffed with hockey players, residing military-style - sleeping on cots and couches, some in dining rooms and sunrooms.
"There will be no cliques on this team," said forward Chris Holmes of Brick Township, N.J. "There's no room!"
"This is the game room, the hangout room and my bedroom!" said 23-year-old center Jesse Felten of Wisconsin as he sat on the downstairs sofa that doubles as his bed.
Packs of Skoal chewing tobacco and an empty can of Fosters beer cluttered a coffee table. The sounds of warfare blared from the house TV, where center Angelo Serse was playing Medal of Honor on Xbox.
Pranks? None yet, though the housemates believe that it's just a matter of time. Group meals? Only one so far: Chicken pasta, cooked by Canada native Steve Obelnicki.
"It actually wasn't bad," said defenseman David Inman of San Diego, who graduated from Yale last year. A 776-page biography of Michelangelo sat heavy on top of his nightstand.
Just like the team, the house chemistry is a work in progress, said Jarrett Rush, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound defenseman.
"It could go either way," he said. "I mean, everybody says they're neat. We'll see about that. It's similar to being on the ice - everyone holds everyone else accountable."
But at the end of the day, he said, it's winning that matters most. "We're playing to win the championship," said Rush, of Pennington, N.J. "That's the goal."
The Aviators' first home game is Friday at 7:05 p.m. against the Broome Barons. For a schedule of games, go to www.newyorkaviators.com
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2010/11/09/2010-11-09_while_looking_to_make_a_comeback_12_new_york_aviators_hockey_players_share_a_bea.html#ixzz14qFbnBbO