The Rock County Fury are knocking on the door of a Badger Conference championship.
The area’s co-op high school girls hockey team avenged a loss to a league rival for the second time in less than a week Thursday.
Anika Einbeck’s second-period goal was the difference in a 1-0 road win over the Cap City Cougars out of Sun Prairie.
“Just a great win for the girls,” Fury coach Luke Steurer said. “The first time they beat us 3-0, but now we’re right back in conference championship contention.”
Rock County and Cap City are now each 9-2 in league play and would match the Metro Lynx (Middleton) at 10-2 to earn a share of the conference crown if they win their final game. For the Fury, that comes Saturday against Viroqua in Beloit.
Olivia Cronin (Beloit Memorial) stopped all 38 shots she saw to shut out the Cougars.
“Cronin just played out of her mind. She was scrambling, doing whatever she had to do to stop the puck,” Steurer said. “She made the easy ones and also made the tough ones diving across the crease and sprawling out.”
Einbeck’s goal came off an assist from Alyssa Knauf, who stole the puck from a Cap City forward and flung it ahead to her linemate.
“Anika went 1 on 2, beat the defensemen to get a breakaway and put a shot top-shelf over the goalie’s shoulder,” Steurer said. “(After we lost to Cap City and Metro Lynx the first time) we talked about how we were still in it and just had to win out.
“We talked about how that goal is still reachable. The girls saw that and ran with it.”
On Saturday, the Fury—who earned a top seed in their WIAA playoff bracket—will attempt to close out the regular season with another conference title.
FURY 1, COUGARS 0Rock County 0 1 0—1
Cap City (Sun Prairie) 0 0 0—0
Second periodRC—Anika Einbeck (Alyssa Knauf), 7:31.
Saves—Olivia Cronin (RC) 38, Lexi Holman (CC) 21.