Low numbers on Sydney Raaths’ Madison Capitols club team proved to be a blessing in disguise.
For the first time in her career, Raaths is playing prep hockey as a member of the Madison Metro Lynx in addition to her time with the Capitols. The senior forward made her presence felt right away in the season opener with four goals and three assists in the Metro Lynx’s 10-3 victory over the Icebergs co-op in a Badger Conference game Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Mandt Community Center in Stoughton.
“It’s a pretty good way to start a whole new journey with this team,” Raaths said. “It’s an awesome opportunity to play with other girls I go to school with around Madison. It’s the perfect combination. I’m so lucky. It’s great camaraderie with both teams.”
The Metro Lynx outshot the Icebergs 69-15. The Lynx’s top line posted eight goals and six assists. Senior forward Abby Ahlborn netted three goals. Sophomore forward Kaya Pelton-Byce had two goals and two assists, and sophomore defenseman Lauren Johnson added two assists.
“We have been practicing a few weeks with no games,” Metro Lynx coach Mike McKersie said. “There was a lot of energy. We came out hard and fast.”
The Lynx scored two goals in the first 1:23 of the first period. Raaths scored her first goal off an assist from Johnson just 50 seconds into the game.
“The first shift I was a little nervous,” Raaths said. “I got the puck and there was a lot of space, so I went all the way down and shot it. It was a pretty good start.”
Pelton-Byce scored 13 seconds later. Ahlborn added a goal on a pass from Raaths to extend the Lynx’s lead to 3-0 with 8:30 left in the opening period.
Icebergs junior forward Izzy Newton got her team on the board, scoring on a rebound at 5:33. Nineteen seconds later, Pelton-Byce scored off assists from Raaths and sophomore Grace Bonnell.
Icebergs senior Aeryn Olson scored off assists by Newton and junior Sydney Schipper to cut the Lynx’s lead to 4-2 late in the first period. Newton scored off assists from Schipper and Olson 43 seconds into the second half, but the Lynx answered 23 seconds later. Raaths scored off a pass from freshman defenseman Sam Olander to take a 5-3 lead.
“They got a couple of backdoor goals when we got caught staring at the puck,” McKersie said. “We gave them a couple of breakaway chances and fortunately Cam (McKersie) made a couple of really nice saves on those or else it could have changed in the middle part of that second period.”
Ahlborn scored her second goal and Raaths scored her third goal for the hat trick later in the second to extend the Lynx’s lead to 7-3.
The Lynx closed the third period with three goals. Ahlborn completed her hat trick off assists by Raaths and senior defenseman Josie Dragoo at the 11:34 mark. Thirty seconds later, Raaths scored off a pass by Ahlborn. Junior forward Ava Jambor capped the scoring off an assist by junior defenseman Ava Downing.