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Embrace the FLOP

In a season where Williamsville has gone unbeaten, Amherst/Sweet Home/Clarence has a ton of offensive production and two-time defending Federation Champs Monsignor Martin remain strong, the Frontier/Orchard Park/Lake Shore (FLOP) girls hockey team is going under the radar despite having their best season yet.

FLOP is currently 9-2 with 27 points this season with a firm hold on second place in the WNY Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation. Just a little over halfway through the season, FLOP is having their best season since their founding season in 2010-2011.

“I think we have a strong team this year, we can match up with anyone”, Orchard Park/Frontier/Lake Shore Head Coach Bob Klimowicz said.

“In past years, we’ve been middle of the pack but this year we are at the top. We want to stay there”, senior forward Megan Roche said.

The senior has seen vast improvement from this team since joining in eighth grade.

“The growth has been amazing”, Roche said. “At the beginning, we started off wining a few games a season now we only have two losses.”

This season Orchard Park and Frontier welcome Lake Shore to the fold. Among the players joining the team this year from Lake Shore are sisters Emily and Mary Kromer. The sisters have made a big impact bringing more offensive production to the team. Mary currently has seven goals and 13 points and Emily has four goals and eight points.

“The two are on the same line. They play very well together”, Klimowicz said.

Also, new to the program is Head Coach Bob Klimowicz. Klimowicz takes over for Jim McCarthy, who severed as Head Coach for the team’s first six seasons. Klimowicz was previously the Head Coach of the Frontier Boys Hockey team for seventeen seasons and has some coaching experience in college.

“I was really surprised by the level of talent in the league”, Klimowicz said. “There’s some really talented girls that will play college hockey.”

According to the players Klimowicz has brought a new energy to the program this season.

“Coming in we were all a little nervous but he’s a great coach”, Roche said. “He keeps motivating us to get better. Whenever we come off the ice and have a bad shift he is always picking us up and always offers us encouragement on the bench.”

“He’s brought a lot of energy onto the ice”, Victoria Cottrell said. “He makes everything fluent and fast paced.”

“He really gets us fired up and going at 5:30 in the morning”, Brooke Becker said.

Leading the FLOP in scoring this year has been senior Megan Roche. Roche has six goals and 16 points for FLOP. According to her coach she’s a leader who can come in and give immediate energy to the team, saying “Megan is the type of girl that whenever you need a spark you put her on the ice. She consistently is going.”

Brooke Becker has been responsible for offensive production from the blue line this season with seven goals and 14 points.

Klimowicz believes that despite being only a freshman, Becker is the top defenseman in the league, saying “She sees the ice, passes and stick handles well and she has the best shot in the league.”

In net for FLOP is Victoria Cottrell. Cottrell is strong in net this season picking up six wins for FLOP. The goalie also has a shutout and a GAA of 1.58 in eight games between the pipes.

“She’s the one we put in for the big games”, Klimowicz said. “She’s plays consistent for us.”

With all of their success this season FLOP believes they can compete with unbeaten Williamsville and go onto states.

“I think we match up with Williamsville well. It would really exciting if we ended up there, but we have to get there first”, Klimowicz said.

“Winning is our biggest priority”, Becker said. “We want to get to the playoffs, beat Williamsville and possibly win a state title.”

FLOP will be back in action on Tuesday as they host West Seneca/Hamburg/Eden at 4pm at the Holiday Twin Rinks.

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