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Becker Nets Four Goals

Brooke Becker couldn’t help but smile when assistant coach Chelsea Hausberger tossed her hat on the ice as a show of respect.

But for Becker the most important thing was the team picked up the win.

Becker scored four times as Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park (FLOP) officially began its defense of the NYSPHSAA title with a 5-0 win over Kenmore/Grand Island (KenGI), Tuesday night at Lincoln Arena.

It was the regular season opener for both clubs, Becker said after graduating so many key players from last year’s team that also won the Section VI and WNY Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation title, it was vital to get that first game under their belt.

“It’s quite a relief, actually,” said Becker. “Coming into the first game you’re always a little nervous, everybody was nervous. The new girls especially. So it was nice to let them know you can always rely on each other.”

Though they have an even younger lineup than KenGI, to their credit, they gave FLOP the best battle they possibly could.

KenGI was aggressive and skated stride for stride with FLOP during a scoreless first period.

Eighth grader Julia Peters scored what turned out to be the game winner just over a minute into the second period. FLOP won the face-off in the KenGI zone, Peters battled for the puck, took it to the net and flipped it over the shoulder of goalie Carolyn Bourgeault.

“The first game is always about trying to get the cobwebs out. Get the nerves out. The excitement out,” FLOP coach Bob Klimowicz said. “This gives us a good indication of where we are. We’ve got some things that we discussed and we need to improve on, but that’s only gonna get better as the season goes on.”

Klimowicz said that once Peters scored that first goal he could sense the rest of the team take a deep breath and play more relaxed as the game went on.

Becker made it 2-0 when she fired a shot from the point.

KenGI didn’t back down as they kept working hard to create chances. They were aggressive, quick to the puck and proved that even though they are young they are far from being a pushover. FLOP goalie Maggie Spyche stopped all 18 shots that she faced including some crucial stops when it was still a two goal game.

KenGI coach Jeff Orlowski said that though there is work to be done, the way his girls battled against the defending state champions shows the promise that this group has. That promise was reflected in the play from two on their youngest girls, eighth grader Emiliana Cassillo and freshman Molly Leggett.

“The score doesn’t dictate how well we played tonight,” Orlowski said. “You gotta give credit to them. They’re a good hockey team. They did what they needed to do and they won the game. But we’ll get better. Nobody remembers the first game, only the last one.”

Becker scored three goals in the third period to cap off the win.

“The first period was zero-zero so we definitely started off a little shaky,” Becker said. “As we kept going we just got progressively better and better and the girls started to blend a little more.”

Around the League:

There are two games on the schedule for Wednesday

Monsignor Martin (1-0-0) vs Williamsville (0-0-0) at Northtown Center – 4:30pm

West Seneca/Hamburg/Eden vs Niagara County at Hockey Outlet – 7:30pm

***Games will be postponed in the event of school closings***

Thursday

WNYAthletics.com will be at the Northtown Center to provide a live audio broadcast of the Williamsville vs Niagara County game, puck drop at 4:30pm.

Dan Lalama and Randy Schultz can be heard here: mixlr.com/wnyathletics

Pregame show will begin at 4:15pm

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