BROOKLYN AVIATORS HOCKEY CLUB ~ 2011-2012:
Coach Miller Making Final Preparations Before Take-Off.
Back in July the organization officially dropped "New York" from their name and opted instead to more accurately represent the Borough of Kings and the local crowds who cheer for them inside Hangar Number Five off Flatbush Avenue.
As the start of the second Federal Hockey League season draws closer, Coach Rob Miller is busy scouting and finalizing his roster. Many of the Coolest Guys from last season will be returning. Unfortunately, two very popular players and key contributors from the previous season's success will not. But all players starting this season forward; whether returning from last season or are new faces to the team, and any future club member, will now represent and play as:
THE BROOKLYN AVIATORS
This just reaffirms what I've been saying about them generally being regarded as,
The Coolest Guys in Brooklyn!
To drop the puck on the 2011-2012 campaign, the Aviators and Akwesasne Warriors will pick up where left off last season, which is on Warriors home-ice where Akwesasne's home team defeated the A's three games to one to win the Federal Hockey League Inaugural Championship back in March.
Brooklyn and Akwesasne will officially start the FHL season on Oct. 27th. The A's will play a second road game on Oct. 28th against the Cape Cod Blue Fins. Then, Brooklyn's home-ice opener will be on Saturday, October 29th, versus one of the three new additions to the League; the New Jersey Outlaws.
The Federal Hockey League is an eight team circuit now. The returning member clubs from last season are Brooklyn; Akwesanse; 1000 Islands Privateers; and the Danbury Whalers. Last year's Broome County Barons are now this year's Cape Cod Blue Fins.
The three new teams joining the League for the 2011-2012 season are the Danville Dashers; New Jersey Outlaws; and the Vermont Wild.
One of the most popular players not returning to the A's this season is the 5'10" little bull and (now former) crowd favorite; Matthew Puntureri. He was traded to the New Jersey Outlaws back in May. The transaction was an unfortunate situation Coach Miller admitted was made due to financial considerations.
You don't just seemingly and suddenly ignite like the A's did last season and roll off a 21-game winning streak and finish the regular season in first place only after playing at such a ferocious pace as they did to close out last season, without riding your Goalie like an old WWII Flying Tiger. The Aviators did just that, and their goalie was Kevin Druce. He also will not be returning this season.
But many familiar names to us locals are returning for another campaign at Hangar Five. Forwards -Andrew Scampoli, Steve Obelnicki, Anthony Longo, Jesse Felton, Michael Thomson, Casey Magnone, John Goffredo, and Nick Vandenbeld are some of the returning skaters.
On Defense - The truth is, we're thin. KC Timmons and Jarrett Rush will be back on the blue line. Nicholas Kuqali makes three signed defenseman. After that, this is perhaps the team's biggest issue and Coach Miller's toughest challenge ahead. Coach hopes to solidify his blue line through scouting the southern circuit before the season's opener.
In goal tender Kevin Druce's absence, the Aviators will mostly likely go with a tandem of Peter Dundovich, and Ryan Scott in net this season.
We'll see what new players earn a Brooklyn jersey once Training Camp concludes. Until then...
...Let's Go A's!