It was a long week for the Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park girls hockey team. It ended up being worth it.
FLOP won four games in the span of seven days, and Brooke Becker saved her best performances for last.
The sophomore defenseman scored twice in a 6-3 win over Skaneateles in the NYSPHSAA semifinals and added two more goals in the final, a 4-1 win over Salmon River, to capture Section VI's first state championship.
The Orchard Park student was named to the All-Tournament Team for her outstanding showing, as well as our Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Week.
Coach Bob Klimowicz on Becker: "Brooke is a coach's dream. Every coach's game plan is to try and stop her, and even knowing that going in, she is very difficult to stop cause Brooke knows she has a great supporting cast around her. She is a fantastic skater whose cuts make it extremely difficult for any defender or forechecker to defend. She has the best shot in the league. I have never seen her take a slap shot because her wrist shot is that good and she gets it off so quick. It is hard to believe that she is only a 10th grader. She is so mature for her age. She is a true leader on and off the ice. She can sense when the team needs a lift and takes it upon herself to make something happen. Every coach knows her abilities and is the reason why she was a unanimous choice for Player of the Year."
How has your season gone so far?: Our season has gone really well so far. We defeated Lancaster in the Section VI playoffs and played Williamsville in the Section VI championship game. After winning both, we went on to the state tournament and won the entire thing. We have accomplished two of our three goals this season already. With Federation playoffs approaching this week, we’re preparing to meet our final goal.
Highlight of athletic career so far: The highlight of my athletic career so far would have to be making the USA Hockey 66 player development camp.
Favorite thing about my sport: My favorite thing about hockey is the all of the emotion the game brings. Not only do I love seeing all the love and support fans can bring, but on the ice and in the locker rooms my teammates are always there for me and everyone else. If you’re from Buffalo and play hockey, you know it’s like one giant family, and that’s my favorite part of it.
Favorite teammate: I don’t know if I could have a favorite teammate. I love all my teammates. I’ve known Sirena Fitzery, Gabby DeMeo, Emily and Mary Kromer for a long time. Even though we don’t all play for the same teams for travel, it’s nice that we come together for high school hockey. I love spending time with them, and they are all amazing hockey players. I will miss Sirena, Gabby and Emily so much as they go away to college next year. I also appreciate all of the rides they give me!
Toughest opponent: I think CASH is our toughest opponent because every time we play them, they come out really hard. One of our losses this year is to them. They always find a way to score, too. Casey Adimey is a big threat on that team who seems to put the puck in the net at the perfect times for them.
WNY athlete/college athlete I look up to: Emily Pfalzer is a WNY athlete I look up to. She started playing hockey from a young age and still plays now. She went through all of the USA Hockey teams and is now on the national team competing in the Olympics. It’s very inspiring.
Pro/college athlete I admire now: Hilary Knight is a pro athlete I admire now. Not only is she an amazing hockey player, but she’s done so much to help with women’s hockey. She's very inspiring and has showed up the male hockey players a number of times.
Favorite school subjects: Math.
What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): In the fall of 2020, I will be attending Providence College to play Division I college hockey. They play in the Hockey East conference. As far as my major goes, I am indecisive, but am leaning toward a business major.