The #4 Madison Metro Lynx had a lot of ground to make up in their semi-final matchup with the #1 Bay Area Ice Bears, having lost 7-1 the first time these two teams met earlier this season.
The Lynx played a strong game, and it was only a 2-1 Ice Bears lead at the midpoint of the game, but that was all the scoring the Lynx were able to muster on Thursday at Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena, and the Ice Bears took a 4-1 win.
The Ice Bears speed helped them stifle the Lynx offense and limit them to just 11 shots in the game while the Ice Bears put up a solid 36.
The Ice Bears got on the board first at 2:42 of the first period when Faye Brunke found the puck on the backdoor after a battle in front and saw nothing but open net in front of her.
The Ice Bears would add a second goal in the second period. Abby Gady fired it at the net where it was deflected by Hannah Von Haden, and then by Rachael Beeck where it went through the five-hole and made it 2-0.
The Lynx battled back though and Emma Stebbeds took a long lead pass from Rowan Severson and came in on a near-breakaway. She cut hard across the front of the net by Anna Byczek made the save. Leah Grudzinski was trailing the play and knocked in the rebound to cut the lead in half and send it to the second intermission.
Midway through the third period the Ice Bears retook the two-goal lead when Emily Bill hit Julianne Bradford in the corner, Bradford quickly got it back to Bill who cut to the net and fired short side for the goal.
Another corner-give-and-go between Bradford and Kristina Kruse on the power play sprung Bradford who put it in and extended the lead to 4-1 with time winding down in the third period.
Addie Armstrong stopped 32 of 36 in the loss for the Lynx, in a very good game. Anna Byczek stopped 10 of 11 for the Ice Bears who will play the winner of Superior and Hudson.