BROOKLYN AVIATORS: Comeback Against Defending Champs In Season Opener With Disciplined Play and Composure.
For the Aviators, the memory of losing and watching the Warriors hoist the Championship Trophy on home ice to end Brooklyn's most previous season no doubt rushed back to their minds upon taking the ice Thursday night in Lewiston, Maine for a return engagement against Akwesasne. But for a night, the Aviators displayed more discipline and composure than did the defending FHL champions. And for Coach Miller, watching both characteristics play directly into their Opening night victory must have been especially satisfying considering many of his players are still learning how to play together. For their efforts in the season's first game, they adhered to many key fundamental values. The A's won Thursday night by grinding the game out a little longer than the Warriors did, and playing an increasingly cleaner and sharper game against the Warriors the longer the contest went on.
It seemed over the first two and one half periods, the A's carried the play; spent less time in the box; got more shots on net; and appeared to be the more disciplined team. Yet Akwesasne and the scoreboard were unyielding, reflecting a 2-1 score in the Warriors' favor after fifty minutes of regulation time.
Over that span, Akwesasne even put Brooklyn on the man-advantage three times as many as the A's allowed the Warriors. Both teams combined to go a woeful 0-12 on the PP to that point. And frustratingly, the Aviators accounted for 0-9 of that. Chris Ferazolli wound up scoring the first goal of the Aviators' season at even strength. At the time, his score only served to cut a 2-0 Akwesasne lead in half. But the defense and Thomas Lee set about ensuring Ferazolli's goal would factor into the outcome.
The Warriors opened the FHL's 2011-2012 scoring this season at 15:55 of the first period on a Miguel Delisle goal past A's starting net minder; Thomas Lee. And that's how the initial period ended. Brooklyn managed thirteen shots on goal in the period as Akwesasne unleashed seventeen with one finding net. Penalties put Brooklyn on the PK three times but they held the Warriors scoreless during the man advantages.
Brooklyn clamped down and limited the Warriors to just four shots on goal the entire second period. Yet one shot still managed to find net behind Thomas Lee. At the 7:03 mark of the second session, Akwsasne's Pierre Dagenais scored to make it a 2-0 game.
Then, just under four minutes later at the 10:50 mark, Chris Ferazzoli's first goal of the season finally put Brooklyn on the scoreboard. He was assisted by Jordan Bernier and Chris Jones. Brooklyn put fifteen shots on goal during the second period and behind their defense, the A's game started to gel. But the second period ended with the A's still down by a 2-1 score.
While the teams traded second period goals, they traded second period punches as well. Things began to get chippy back when Akwesasne's Carter Trevisani and Brooklyn's Jordan Bernier closed out the first period with roughing penalties. Then tempers flared between Akwesasne's Ahmed Mahfouz and Brooklyn's Anthony Iaquinto when they dropped the gloves at the 10:58 mark of the second session. Both received five for fighting. And bad attitudes prevailed the rest of the period.
Midway through the third period and two power play opportunities later, the Aviators' tying goal still remained elusive. Then, at 13:23 of the third, Brooklyn's patience was rewarded. Their attention to detail finally paid off when Anthony Iaquinto scored for Brooklyn and tied the game at two apiece. The assists came from Andrew Owsiak and Jarrett Rush.
At the 14:14 mark, Akwesasne's penchant for penalties this night opened the door to another Hangar-sized opportunity. Brooklyn cashed in as the power play finally hit pay dirt when Jordan Bernier buried the go-ahead goal to make it a 3-2 game. The goal was assisted by Andrew Scampoli.
After allowing seventeen shots on goal in the first period, the defense kept the number of shots against goalie Thomas Lee relatively low the rest of the way. Four shots in the second period and eight in the third were all Akwesasne could muster. Meanwhile, Brooklyn peppered Warriors' goalie David Plouffe with fourteen shots in the third period and forty-two overall. Additionally, the Aviators did very well to stay out of the box. And even though Brooklyn's power play was 1-10 Thursday night, they scored on the one opportunity that mattered most; their last.
And so Aviators' victory number one came in rather dramatic fashion Thursday night. If this game is an indication, then it's going to be a fun Winter folks.
Game two of the new season will be Friday night in Cape Cod against the Blue Fins before the Coolest Guys In Brooklyn come home for their Saturday Night Showdown against their newest rival, the New Jersey Outlaws, who now feature former A's fan favorites, Matthew Puntureri and John Goffredo.
Cape Cod Bluefins
Somewhere in Massachusetts