Sunday, February 26, 2012

BKN Aviators ~ Flatbush in a Dogfight to the Finish

From the desk of:   THE SKATES OF FLATBUSH

BROOKLYN AVIATORS:  Flatbush Sweeps Two From Danville Dashers.  Overtake Akwesasne in the Standings.  A's Back in the First Division With Four to Play.


Brooklyn   7
Danville     3

Let's understand for a moment Danville only has four wins this season.  So it's not like defeating the Danville Dashers; this season at least; is the stuff legends are made of.  Although the any-given-day rule still applies to all teams.  I am merely going to suggest, with the Aviators needing wins most, Jesse Felten stepped-up to remind his mates how to seize the moment; as several of his current mates were part of Brooklyn's miraculous run towards the playoffs last season.

Thanks in large part to their forward, the Aviators are back, but far from safe, in fourth place after defeating the Dashers 7-3 Saturday in the first of a two game series.  The win finally allowed Brooklyn to punch through the percentage points lead Akwesasne held over Flatbush and puts them back in the first division again with only five games left to play.  The Warriors lost to the New Jersey Outlaws 6-2 Saturday, and will be idle Sunday.  Advantage Brooklyn.

Michael DiLorenzo earned his third win in four starts for Brooklyn by turning back twenty-four of twenty-seven shots on goal by Danville.  The night started with a Kings County sized gasp when Danville scored just 0:39 into the game.  But in what are now must-win-games, the "old" Brooklyn vet, Jesse Felten, stepped in to lead Flatbush, when a leader was needed.

Midway through the first period, Felton tied the game with his twenty-fourth goal of the season.  And before the period's end, Jason Dolgy scored at 17:53 on the power play after Danville's Ryan Stern got whistled for cross-checking.  From then on, attitudes and comportment deteriorated.  But the game pressed on without too much chicanery.

Danville got off to another quick start to open the second period.  Four minutes in, this game was tied at two apiece.  But a few minutes later, Matt Atsoff put his Brooklyn mates up by one again.  Then midway through the period, Jesse Felten scored his twenty-fifth goal of the season on a power play to make it a 4-2 game.  Danville answered yet again with a goal at the 11:55 mark.  But it would be their last of the night.  Before the second period expired, Steve Koich gave the A's a 5-3 lead with his sixth goal of the season.

The third period was all Brooklyn.  Just over a minute in, Steve Owsiak scored his seventeenth goal of the season.  Then Jesse Felten and Jason Dolgy finished this game off the same way they started it.  Jesse Felten scored goal number twenty-six of the season at the 2:09 mark on a power play to complete his hat trick.  Jason Dolgy netted his second goal of the game and Brooklyn's final of the  evening for an 8-3 Flatbush win and their sixty-seventh point of the season; four better than the Warriors.


Brooklyn   4
Danville    2

Fourth place was now a matter of which team had more points again and no longer based on win percentages.  With the Warriors not playing, Sunday represented a huge opportunity to put some more distance between Flatbush and Akwesasne before both teams take the ice again Wednesday night.

With a day game after a night game, Coach Miller gave John Dorman his first Aviator start between the pipes Sunday after starting Michael DiLorenzo Saturday.  Regular goalie Josselin St. Pierre was not penciled into either game.  Regardless, in his first game in net since November 2011, John Dorman stopped fourteen of sixteen shots Brooklyn's defense allowed Danville.  At the other end, Flatbush peppered Danville's goalie; Nick Wydock; with twenty-one shots in the first period alone.

Sunday's overall shots on goal total was Brooklyn forty; Danville sixteen.  The final score was Brooklyn four; Danville two.  Who accrued more penalty minutes can be figured out if you try.  But ascertaining the number of punches thrown this afternoon is useless.  Saturday's simmering hostilities and lingering feuds boiled over throughout the first and third periods of Sunday afternoon's raucous affair.

When they weren't littering the ice with sticks and gloves, Brooklyn was doing just enough to win their third straight game, and more importantly gaining three more points in the standings over the idle Akwesasne Warriors.

There was no hat trick from Jesse Felten Sunday.  He played facilitator this time, instead assisting on three Brooklyn goals.  Five minutes in, he assisted on Henry Coxe's opening goal of the game.  A little over two minutes later, Jesse Felten again had the primary assist on Andrew Scampoli's power play goal.  With three and a half minutes left in the first period, Danville scored on a power play to end the period 2-1 Brooklyn.

Michael Thompson scored the only goal of the second just 1:31 into the period.  Then in the third period, Jesse Felten recorded his third assist of the game on Andrew Owsiak's goal at the 6:21 mark.  Danville scored a late short-handed goal to make the score a respectable 4-2 final.

That's seventy points and a job well done.  Now, Flatbush has four games left in the regular season.  The Aviators have a seven point lead over the Akwesasne Warriors and for the moment, own the final playoff spot.  Brooklyn now has a daunting task before them.  They will close out the regular season with a home-and-home against the third place Danbury Whalers, then a home-and-home against the first place New Jersey Outlaws.  The defending FHL Champions; Akwesasne Warriors; only have three games remaining.  One game remains against Danville this Wednesday.  They will then finish with a home-and-home against the second place 1000 Islands Privateers.

Should the playoff's fourth seed remain undetermined by March 3rd, Brooklyn's scheduled Sunday, March 4th game against New Jersey can quite literally turn out to be their "ACE" in the hole as Akwesasne will have concluded their season on Saturday.

Let's Go A's!


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