BROOKLYN AVIATORS: Akwesasne Warriors Prove TWO Much for Flatbush.
And now..., Flatbush is in a bind. A weekend sweep suffered against the Warriors was exactly what Brooklyn could least afford with just eight games remaining in the regular season. But for this game at least, what more could they have done? Brooklyn took sixty-four shots on goal. Yet, what all their efforts got them was a 3-0 second period deficit. Sure they messed up when they allowed the Warriors to score short-handed in the second. But again, what more could they have done? Brooklyn kept taking shots and Akwesasne's Alexandre Vincent kept stopping them.
What more could they have done? Well, they needed to have their goalie situation straightened out by now. At this point, Brooklyn should be riding Josselin St. Pierre from now until March 4th; the last game of the season versus New Jersey; and hope for the best. After Coach Miller charged Michael DiLorenzo with Friday's game, Josselin St. Pierre started in net for Brooklyn on Saturday. The A's limited Akwesasne to seven and nine shots in the first and third periods respectively. In the second period however, the Warriors peppered St. Pierre with eighteen shots. He faced thirty-four shots in all and stopped twenty-nine in taking the loss.
Stopping pucks and scoring; it's all about scoring now. And with every goal, win, and point in the standings of paramount importance, perhaps they needed to be better than 2 for 11 on the power play Saturday as well? Maybe. But the affects of Coach Miller's early season roster tinkering are bearing out. Very simply, the A's need more consistent scoring.
Joe Dabkowski finally broke through for Flatbush at 5:41 into the third period. But by that time, the Warriors were already up by a 4-1 score. Make that 4-2 after the Warriors scored again six minutes later. For the Akwesasne Warriors, it was their usual suspects who did all the damage against Brooklyn. Nicolas Corbeit, Sylvain Deschateles, and Pierre Dagenais all recorded points. And Dan Tessier added two third period goals to put the game safely out of reach. Michael Thompson closed out Brooklyn's offensive effort, first with a short-handed goal at the 12:42 mark, and then scoring again with less that two minutes left during an inconsequential Brooklyn power play.
Although Brooklyn still maintains an overall one point edge over the Warriors, the A's are now 0.30 percentage points behind Akwesasne in the standings due to total games played. If the season ended today, the Warriors are in the playoffs and Brooklyn would be out. Unless Danbury hits a big bump in the road, they can and should remain in third place. But they too can very easily drop back into this rat race. For the moment though, it seems as if the last playoff spot will come down to which team; Akwesasne or Brooklyn; plays better hockey down the stretch.
After meeting in last season's Federal Hockey League championship round, these two teams will now battle it out for a chance to play beyond March 4th. Different season. Different story. The Aviators will travel home from Upstate and take on first place New Jersey, Monday night in The Hangar. Then Thursday, the Warriors come into Brooklyn for the last head-to-head match up of the season between these two clubs.