Tonawanda News — BUFFALO — After two periods of the Section VI Federation Catholic School final, St. Joe's held a 2-0 advantage over Bishop Timon and seemed to be in complete control.
But the Tigers had other ideas.
Timon netted a pair of goals early in the period to tie the game and also set up a dream scenario for any one of the 38 skaters in either a white or green jersey to notch a potential game winner.
Zach Klapp seized the moment.
The St. Joe's captain and Tonawanda native stole the puck on a Timon pass from behind his own net, made a pair of dekes and buried the puck home to give the Marauders a 3-2 lead which proved to be enough for the victory.
In the locker room after the game, St. Joe's coach Rick Crozier gave Klapp the "game puck" and told him, "you won us a championship with that goal."
"It's every kid's dream growing up," Klapp said about the game winner. "You're always playing in the driveway, last few minutes of the game and you go down and score. It's just a great feeling, especially to help my team to victory today."
Klapp has been one of Crozier's most trusted veterans all season, and the coach has constantly applauded his player for his hard work and team-first attitude.
Crozier said it was nice to see Klapp end up with the recognition he'd earned all season with his leadership and work ethic.
"Zach is one of those special players, he's been with me since he was 14 years old," Crozier said. "I think that's his 83rd victory at the Federation level. We've asked something tough of him this year. It's not easy to be the second line center, but he's put his personal aspirations to the side for the betterment of the team, and I'm so proud of him for that. It is poetic justice that he gets the recognition tonight with the big goal to win a championship."