The Alberta Junior Female Hockey League championship is heading to Sherwood Park this weekend after the Cochrane Chaos and Sherwood Park Steele split the opening two games of the series.
A powerplay goal was the difference in a 1-0 loss to the Steele in the opening games at Totem One on Mar. 11. The Chaos bounced back to win 3-2 in overtime on Mar. 12.
Chaos head coach Derek Loomer believes the Chaos outplayed their opponents in both games and it came down to a few bounces in the opening game.
On the first two shifts, they had a pair of breakaways. One shot rang off the crossbar, and the other hit the post.
"You know, it could have been 2-0 three minutes into the game for us, and then you'd have a different outcome," says Loomer. "It's just little bounces that make a difference, and that's what makes it exciting. That's hockey."
Sunday, the Chaos held a 2-0 lead early in the second but the Steele came back to even the score with the tying goal coming on a powerplay.
After a scoreless third, Kaylee Stagman scored her second of the night to give the Chaos the win. Sarah Nusl scored the other Chaos goal.
"Our girls played really, really well. I was very proud of how they came out, especially after losing that first game. Really, as a group, there was no one on the ice that was a passenger. Everybody was working their butts off and doing very well. It was fun to watch and fun to be part of."
The Chaos have twice appeared in the provincial championship, losing three games straight to the Steele and the Edmonton Wolves. They're determined to make this the year they claim the title.
"You can see from those two games that there it's going to be a big challenge and you know it's a game of inches. If our girls can come out and play the way they did in both games here, make the most of our chances, and just really bear down around the net, we have every opportunity to go there and win two straight to bring home the championship."
The Steele call Ardossan's MacMillan Arena home. Saturday's game is at 8:30 p.m. Game four is on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. Should game five be required it returns to Cochrane on Mar. 25.