New York Aviators goaltender Kevin Druce, second in the Federal Hockey League with a 2.82 goals-against-average.
It’s been a while since we’ve written about the New York Aviators, the Brooklyn minor league hockey team that plays its games at the Aviator Sports and Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field. This weekend, starting on Saturday night at 7:30pm, they will take a 14-12-2 record into a seven-game homestand – I thought this would be a good time to get everyone caught up.
After a disappointing 2-5 start – with all seven of those games played on the road – the Aviators have battled their way back into third place in the six-team Federal Hockey League. 28 games into the season, they have still only played 11 games in Brooklyn, where they are 9-1-1. So the upcoming homestand is a big opportunity for the team to make up some ground on the second-place 1000 Islands Privateers – their opponent on Saturday – and the first-place Akwesasne Warriors – their opponent on Sunday.
Leading the team with 17 goals scored is Matt Puntureri, a 25-year-old right winger from Pennsylvania. Puntureri’s nine goals in December earned him the FHL’s Player Of The Month honors. He’s seventh in the league in goal scoring, and he is eighth in points scored with 40 (through Tuesday night’s games).
The team is backstopped by goalie Kevin Druce, whose 2.82 goals-against-average is the FHL’s second-best. Druce is credited with 11 of the team’s 14 wins.
Fun fact: defenseman K.C. Timmons is second in the league with seven power play goals!
The Aviators signed an affiliation agreement with the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League earlier this season. The agreement allows Wheeling to call up top-performing Aviators, and also send its own players to Brooklyn for injury rehab and performance assignments. The Nailers themselves have affiliation agreements with the Penguins and Les Habitants of the NHL.
The Aviators play through mid-March, and the top four teams make the playoffs.
The New York Aviators play their home games at a 2,000 seat ice rink at the Aviator Sports & Events Center, 3159 Flatbush Avenue. Tickets are $12 each, $8 for children and seniors and free for active-duty military personnel. (More: Aviators official site)