by Samantha Diaz
Look out Brooklyn Cyclones. Very soon, you may not be the only minor league team in Southern Brooklyn to wrangle attention from sports fans and media.
Brooklyn’s own minor league hockey team, The Aviators, based in the Aviator Sports and Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field (3159 Flatbush Avenue), has faced a challenging road this season. They lost their first three games, but shifted gears for their latest win against Alexandria Bay’s Thousand Island Privateers, a team that has boasted four former Division I captains, according to Don Kirnan, the Federal Hockey League commissioner.
And that win, along with some ramped up marketing and team associations, is putting them on the map. So much so that The New York Times put together a nice writeup on them.
Arguably, the team’s most notable achievement has been acquiring their affiliation with the Wheeling Nailers, a minor league team that happens to be, in turn, affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Montreal Canadiens. The direct line to the NHL makes the team an entry point for many aspiring professional players. The Nailers has sent more than 40 players to the nation’s premiere hockey league.
With affiliations like these, the Aviators are expected to attract new talent to the lineup.
But we’ve never been to an Aviators game. Have you? How was it?