BROOKLYN AVIATORS: Math Proving to be a Tougher Foe to Combat than the Akwesasne Warriors.
Flatbush is clearly against the ropes. Thursday evening, they landed a tremendous counter-punch against the team they needed to defeat most, in order to give themselves a chance to not just survive these last few games, but win them, and gain that elusive last playoff spot. There are now six games left in the season in which to get that done.
There's a problem however. An unequal number of games played this season among Brooklyn and Akwesasne is giving the A's a problem punching through into fourth place. The A's have played forty-four games this season, while the Warriors have only played forty-one. Flatbush has sixty-seven points heading into Saturday's action. The Warriors are four behind Flatbush with sixty-three points. Yet, due to less games played, the Akwesasne Warriors sit in fourth place with a .512 win percentage, versus Brooklyn's .508 mark.
So with a little voodoo math working against them, Flatbush finds themselves on the outside looking in. And the A's have no doubt been reeling lately. Even before dropping two straight to the Warriors, Brooklyn had already played, and let Danbury slip past them in the standings the weekend prior. The Whalers now have a firm grip on third place. Then.., came Akwesasne and Brooklyn's exit from the first division; with a loss against New Jersey to boot.
Alas, this past Thursday, Flatbush struck back with a retaliatory blow against the defending FHL Champs, defeating the Akwesasne Warriors 7-1 inside Hangar Five. After a couple of recent rough starts, Coach Miller turned back to Michael DiLorenzo to man the pipes again. The Brooklyn back-up to goalie Josselin St. Pierre responded to his Coach's wishes by stopping thirty-three of thirty-four shots on goal.
Brooklyn posted five unanswered goals over the first two periods before the Warriors managed to break the shut-out a little over thirteen minutes into the second period. Then Brooklyn eliminated any notion of a Warriors' comeback by netting two more goals for good measure.
Seven minutes into the first period, Brooklyn assumed control of this game and never looked back. Jason Dolgy got the A's started with the first of his two goals of the evening. Michael Thompson then followed with what would also by his first of two goals of the evening. Matt Atsoff capped off the first period scoring with his 17th goal of the season.
The Aviators added two more goals before the Warriors answered back with their first. Joe Dabkowski scored in the first 0:33 seconds of the second period for a 4-0 Brooklyn lead. Then Michael Thompson made it 5-0 with his second goal of the game.
The third period was all Flatbush again. Nick Petriello picked up a goal inside the seventh minute. Then Jason Dolgy finished off the Warriors with his second of the game, to make this a 7-1 final.
Just maybe, the schedule makers may have found favor with the A's this weekend. While the A's spent Friday travelling to Illinois, the Warriors dropped a 7-3 affair to the third place Danbury Whalers which is good news for Aviator fans. Brooklyn is off to Danville where the Dashers will host the A's for a pair. Danville has struggled mightily this season, winning just four games all season. If the A's are to make a move on fourth place, I'd say this is the weekend to do it. Akwesasne will have their hands full playing against the run away first place New Jersey Outlaws Saturday and will be idle Sunday. If the A's can take two in Danville Saturday and Sunday, they'll have a tremendous opportunity to upend the Warriors in the standings. Both Akwesasne and Brooklyn will be in action again Wednesday, with Brooklyn playing in Danbury, and the Warriors hosting the Dashers. By the time next Wednesday night is through, there will be three games remaining in the season.
Where will the Brooklyn Aviators be then? We'll see. Gotta drop the pucks first.
SATURDAY NIGHT PUCKS
Game One of Two
Some ice rink in far-off Illinois