The best word to describe the 2020-2021 Cap City Cougar club girls hockey team is grit.
The program, like many others, has had to decipher an everchanging route to a season. The co-op includes two Madison school district schools, Madison East and Madison LaFollete, as well as Sun Prairie, DeForest and Waunakee.
Prior to season start in November, it was requested the season be delayed since the Madison athletes were not allowed to participate while their school was virtual. When that request was denied, high school team practice was planned with 10 players per half sheet of ice with masks and distancing. Meanwhile, club teams were being formed in the area and girls were getting offers to play for other teams.
After just two high school practices, Dane County was shut down and permission was granted for the high school season to have a delayed start. Which left most of the players with no hockey option, so the Cougar Club hockey team was formed with girls from Sun Prairie, Waunakee, LaFollete, Stoughton, Oregon and Deforest.
Perseverance may have gotten the Cougars to Monroe Slice Ice Arena last Friday night, but they weren’t satisfied with just playing.
Rock County Fury’s Emma Kilgora scored the team’s first two goals, followed by a goal by Olivia Combs to end the first period on top 3-0.
Fury’s Anna Melone scored quickly in the second period to put them up 4-0.
Many teams may have thrown in the towel being down four goals, but not this club team.
Marli Davenport scored on an assist by Georgia Rae Samuelson with 10 minutes, 11 seconds to play in the second period to get the Cougars on the scoreboard.
As she has done all season, senior Amanda Bauer led the team to two more goals to cut the deficit to 4-3. Alexa Bartels, with assist from Ava Segersten, scored with 11:12 left in the third to tie the game.
The game had minimal penalties, with just one for the Cougars and two for Rock County.
During the Fury’s second penalty was when Bauer found Rachel Robbins on the blue line with 6:21 remaining for a slapshot goal to put the Cougars up 5-4. Samuelson scored on empty net with 21 seconds remaining to put the finishing touches on this spectacular game.
The Cougars have been fortunate to have not one, but two outstanding goalies for the season with junior Lexi Holman and sophomore Izzy Hahn.
Defenders Brooke Ayres, Olivia Kaminsky, Jenna Klonsinski and Rachel Robbins helped to hold the Fury scoreless in the remaining two periods.