The Madison Metro Lynx girls hockey co-op was rewarded for building a strong resume this season.
The Lynx will bypass regional competition as the No. 1 seed in the Sun Prairie Sectional, putting them just two wins away from the state tournament. Madison earned the top seed over the Cap City Cougars, who lead the Lynx by one game in the Badger Conference.
“We were lucky,” Lynx coach Mike McKersie said. “Cap City is a really tough opponent that was probably just as deserving to get the No. 1 seed. There are also some teams in the sectional that could play spoiler.”
Madison (19-3, 9-2 Badger) will host the winner of Black River Falls and Viroqua in the sectional semifinals Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Madison Ice Arena.
Metro Lynx 5, Viroqua 0
Madison beat the Blackhawks for the second time in five days in a conference game Monday, Feb. 10, at Madison Ice Arena.
The Lynx, ranked second behind Eau Claire Area in the latest Wisconsin Prep Hockey Coaches Association Poll, outshot Viroqua 50-10 and killed all three penalties.
“The girls are playing really well right now,” McKersie said. “We’re getting good puck movement and good speed through the neutral zone, which really helps us get into a good attack.”
Maddy Ahlborn got the Lynx on the board when she banked a shot from the right side off Viroqua goaltender Abigail Severson and into the back of the net with 6:25 left in the first period. Abby Ahlborn and Josie Dragoo assisted on the goal.
Grace Bonnell skated through the Blackhawks’ defense and beat Severson five-hole less than two minutes later to make it 2-0.
Sydney Raaths scored 1:04 into the second period off an assist from Rachel Mirwald. The Lynx took advantage of their only power-play opportunity, as Raaths faked out Severson and sent a backhand into the back of the net with 1:20 left before the second intermission.
Sam Olander ripped a slap shot from the left slot past Severson 2:22 into the third period off an assist from Ruby Dykstra.
Lynx goaltender Addie Armstrong made 10 saves in the shutout. Severson finished with 45 stops.
Metro Lynx 4, Central Wisconsin 2
Madison earned a marquee nonconference road win over the Storm on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Greenheck Field House in Schofield.
Central Wisconsin came into the game ranked No. 1 in the Wisconsin Prep Hockey Coaches Poll, while the Lynx were ranked fifth.
Raaths scored two first-period goals, the first at the 8:26 mark off an assist from Mirwald, and the second a little more than four minutes later off assists from Bonnell and Lauren Johnson.
Mirwald scored on the power play a minute into the second period off assists from Bonnell and Johnson to make it 3-0 Lynx.
The Storm cut it to 3-2 after two periods, but Claire Wischhoff scored on the power play with 11:51 left off assists from Bonnell and Ava Jambor.
The Lynx finished 2-for-5 on the power play and killed two of three penalties. The Storm held a slight edge in shots (18-17), as Armstrong made 16 saves in the win.
Metro Lynx 3, Viroqua 1
Madison scored the final three goals in a Badger road win Thursday, Feb. 6, at Viroqua Community Arena.
Rachel Simonson scored 2:33 into the game to give the Blackhawks their only lead. Raaths tied it 19 seconds later off an assist from Ally Jacobson.
Kaya Pelton-Byce scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period off assists from Jacobson and Maddy Ahlborn. Raaths added a short-handed empty-netter off an assist from Bonnell with 1:07 left to seal the victory.
The Lynx outshot the Blackhawks 49-7 and killed off both penalties, but went 0-for-6 on the power play.
Cam McKersie returned to the lineup and made six saves in the win. Severson made 46 saves.