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Spyche saves the day, FLOP’s heading to Oswego

The Section VI Girls Federation Hockey Championship was decided in front of a healthy crowd at the Northtown Center in Amherst, NY Wednesday evening. Two teams made up from six different schools battled it out for the section title and the right to represent WNY in Oswego this weekend.

Last year’s Section VI Champion squad made up of Frontier, Lake Shore and Orchard Park (FLOP) faced off with the Williamsville schools North, South and East (WillVille). The score was deadlocked at one goal apiece heading into the final period of what was an extremely physical game. 17 penalties were called including seven in the 3rd period.

The FLOP power play unit went right to work in the third period and were quickly rewarded with the go-ahead goal. Emily Kromer a senior from Lake Shore notched her second goal of the night to put her team in front. After serving a couple minor penalties in the middle period, the older Kromer sister redeemed herself with the biggest goal of the night. Mary Kromer just a 10th grader assisted on both of Emily’s goals.

“We changed up our power play unit in the third period and that ended up being the difference,” FLOP coach Bob Klimowicz said.

Gabby DeMeo added another power play goal in the third period to give the FLOP the 3-1 win over WillVille.

Gabby DeMeo adds the insurance goal for the .@FLOPGVH in their 3-1 win over @willvillehockey Wednesday @NorthTownCenter @WNYGirlsHockey @SectionVI Champs — Frank Wolf (@wolf3328) February 8, 2018

Maggie Spyche made 22 saves to help lead FLOP to their second straight Section VI championship.

WillVille scored the first goal of the game at 6:15 of the first period. Rachel Juneau threw a shot at the net from the point and seventh grader Ella Huntley tipped the puck past Spyche.

It looked like WillVille would add another goal just a few minutes later when Amanda Gaffney’s wrist shot beat Spyche above the left shoulder, but the puck clinked off the center of the crossbar and kicked out towards the neutral zone. A few moments later, Emily Kromer put it past WillVille goaltender Jenna Lukomski to tie the score.

WillVille had their chances but most of their shots were coming from the outside. The FLOP defensive unit were key in allowing Spyche to see all of the shots WillVille could muster.

“They are a very patient team,” WillVille coach Rick Hopkins said. “They know they’re going to get their opportunities. They can frustrate you and play extremely well are well coached. The better team won tonight.”

The FLOP penalty killing unit also brought their “A” game Wednesday. WillVille was 0-10 with the man advantage including four cracks at the power play in the third period.

“We knew this was going to be a physical game,” WillVille captain Jenna Woods said. “We just could not find the right chemistry tonight.”

WillVille season is not over, the WNY Girls Federation Championship play begins this week. “We definitely want another shot to beat them (FLOP),” senior Holly Schmelzer said. “There is still something to play for.”

FLOP will leave WNY Friday and head to Oswego, NY to take on Skaneateles from Section III. The same team that beat the FLOP last year in the Regional Championship.

“We held a team dinner Tuesday and I let them know we have to play much better than we did Monday against Lancaster (LIDS)” Klimowicz said. “I liked what I saw today we were more focused and I give a lot of credit to Lucian (Forucci) my assistant coach. After the game I told the girls that we have a chance to finish the job this weekend. That’s been the goal all season and now it’s there for the taking.”

Back to back Section VI champs!!!! @FLOPGVH enjoy and bring it to state semifinals on Saturday at 1pm @sunyoswego — Dr. Richard Hughes (@DrRichardHughes) February 8, 2018

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