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FLOP becomes first Section VI girls hockey team to win NYSPHSAA state title

By Ryan Zalduondo
Special to The News

OSWEGO -- The team from Frontier, Orchard Park and Lake Shore, also known as FLOP, made history at Oswego State on Sunday by becoming the first Section VI girls hockey team to win a New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association state championship, capturing a 4-1 victory against Salmon River from Section X.

“It’s quite an honor,” said FLOP head coach Bob Klimowicz, whose team fell in the state final last year. “This might be our first one, but I think we’re pretty strong.”

FLOP sophomore defenseman Brooke Becker made an impact in all facets of the game, including two spectacular goals, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Becker also scored twice in Saturday’s 6-3 semifinal win against defending state champion Skaneateles from Section III.

“I thought it was great,” said Becker, a Providence College commit. “We came out flying and we did everything we’ve been working so hard the entire season to do. I was really impressed with how we played. We were relentless.”

FLOP set the tempo early, outshooting the Shamrocks 10-3 in the first period. Much of the period was spent in the Salmon River zone, as the FLOP offense attempted to solve Shamrocks sophomore goaltender Carly Cartier.

With 6:22 remaining in the period, Becker broke the scoreless tie as she darted through the neutral zone and fired a heavy wrist shot over Cartier’s glove side shoulder.

FLOP sealed the game in the second period, adding two goals and putting the game out of reach.

Haylee Tatar had FLOP’s second goal with 9:23 remaining in the second period, picking up her own rebound off the pad of Cartier and firing it in for what ultimately resulted to be the game-winning goal. With 4.5 seconds remaining, Emily Kromer made it 3-0 with a strong effort in front of the net.

Kromer, who also was named to the All-Tournament Team and scored twice in the semifinal, said the team’s camaraderie was a reason for its success.

“I think it’s really awesome,” Kromer said. “Any time you work really hard for something and see the payoff, it’s so rewarding. We’re a family and I wouldn’t want to win it with any of the other girls I’ve played with.”

Becker scored FLOP’s final goal, as she picked the puck off a Shamrock defender in the offensive zone and fired the puck from the end boards to the far side of the net to beat Cartier.

“Emily Kromer won the puck back and I just shot it from the outside and it happened to go in,” Becker said. “I think it was a pretty crucial goal. It helped tuck the game away a little more.”

Salmon River scored late with a Lexi Lazore goal to make it 4-1, but the game was out of reach.

FLOP will return to action Thursday as they begin the Western New York Federation playoffs as the top seed.

High School Extra: FLOP advances to state girls hockey championship

FLOP comes back to repeat as Section VI girls hockey champions

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