The Metro Lynx and USM Wildcats opened the season with a game against each other for the third straight year. Two years ago, the Metro Lynx won 5-1. Last year, the Wildcats won 2-1. The Metro Lynx went on to the state tournament each of the last two years, while USM last saw the state tournament in the 2020-21 season. Once again both teams open the season with the attitude to make it to the state championship, but know they need to work their way and improve each game to get there.
The Metro Lynx started the game with a bang and helped Molly Jex get rid of any early game jitters quickly. The Lynx had 4 shots on goal very quickly and then the game settled down. Emma Stebbeds picked up a minor penalty for slashing at 10:54 of the period. USM took advantage as they worked their power play. The puck moved around the exterior of the zone, when Charlotte Fetherston skated it to the middle and took a quick shot. Addy Buzzell was screened out on the play and Fetherston's shot hit the back of the net giving the Wildcats the lead at 11:19 of the first. USM led 1-0 at the end of one.
The Wildcats increased their lead in the second period, when Sophia Armbruster scored at 6:01 with an assist from London Chase. Chase added her name to the scoresheet at 7:57, but this time it was for a tripping penalty to give the Metro Lynx a power play opportunity. The Lynx took advantage as Emma Stebbeds scored the goal with Paige Brien and Sophie Wilde assisting cutting the deficit to one. The Wildcats answered back 18 seconds later on an unassisted goal by Charlotte Fetherston. The Wildcats increased the lead to 3, when Featherston found Eleanor Langenfeld from behind the net to the low slot at 13:05 of the period. The Wildcats led 4-1 at the end of two.
The Wildcats found themselves with a second penalty kill situation at 8:14 of the third as Zoe Adelman went to the sin bin for tripping. The Lynx's Sophie Wilde scored the power play goal at 9:35 to make it 2-4. Fourteen seconds later, the Lynx were in a penalty kill situation as Brita Lake was called for tripping. USM was not able to capitalize on the power play opportunity. The Lynx called their timeout with 2:45 remaining in the game as a faceoff opportunity was taking place in their offensive zone. The Lynx took this chance to pull their goal and get an extra skater on the ice. Unfortunately for the Lynx, they picked up their third penalty of the game 35 seconds later as Page Brien was called for cross-checking in the corner while battling for the puck. The Lynx were able to kill off the penalty and Paige Brien scored the final goal of the game with 2 seconds remaining in the third period. USM clings to a 4-3 victory.
Molly Jex finished the game with 14 saves for USM, while Addy Buzzell had 25 saves for the Lynx. The Lynx will try to get on the winning side of the column in their second game of the season versus the Coulee Region Cyclones on Saturday, November 18th at 4:15 PM. USM will travel to Mosinee to participate in the Gobbler Cup on Friday, November 24th.