HARTFORD, Conn. --
The 103rd Airlift Wing’s “Flying Yankees” hockey team, better known as the “Greatest Show On Ice”, started the season facing-off against the 104th Fighter Wing’s Barnestormers, February 18, 2023, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. The event has been called the “Bradley-Barnes Battle,” by hockey fans.
It was a great event as the teams brought together two military communities from neighboring states, building esprit de corps by offering the opportunity to get know each other better. The Flying Yankees (G.S.O.I.) didn’t disappoint, pumping up the jam-packed arena of over 200 fans by jumping to a quick 3-0 lead early in the first period. The G.S.O.I. controlled the game from beginning to end with a final score of 12 to 4. Led by Co-Captains Jordan Knightly and Steve Bava, the 103rd played sound team hockey throughout the game. Zach Martineau led all scorers with 7 points (4,3), Tyler Provencher and Knightly each had 6 points (4,2) and (3,3) respectively. Forwards Dennis Coughlin, Kyle Murkowicz, Kiernan Daly, Steve Kernstock and Keith Munsell were all crucial in setting the table for the big scorers. The team played great two-way hockey, doing a fine job of back-checking on every shift. Defensemen Chris Babcock, Bill Cahill, Ryan Lester, Mike Stearns, and Steve Teixeira kept the Barnestormers in check all game, playing rock solid positional defense. Pat Green played lights out in goal and did an outstanding job.
The G.S.O.I. went back to work on February 21 against the Hartford Firefighters, at South Windsor Arena, winning the game 10-4. Once again, the win was led by Co-Captain Knightly and sniper Zach Martineau. The Flying Yankees looked sharp, playing two-way hockey, limiting odd man rushes, and allowing few quality shots from their opponents. With Barstis still on the injured list and Ryan Martineau still at Basic Training, Kevin Leist was pulled up from our farm system and made immediate contributions on offense.
Special thanks to Head Coach Mark Maher, Assistant Coach Amy Robison and Co-Captain Jordan Knightly for all their hard work setting up these events, which were enjoyed by all. The Flying Yankees next game will be April 8th, 1130, at the XL Center against the Hartford Wolfpack Alumni team. This MIGHT be a challenge for the G.S.O.I. and should be a very entertaining game.