There was no scoring, and few shots on goal in the first.
That all changed four minutes into the second when the Cochrane Chaos found their scoring form and crinkled the mess with three unanswered goals in the second. Three more in the third gave them a 6-2 over the Calgary Jags.
The Chaos played the first junior hockey game in Cochrane in seven months to kick off the exhibition season of the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL).
It's been seven months since the team had their season halted in midst of the south final. That dashed their hopes of getting another shot at being crowned provincial champs, something that has so far alluded them. Since then, the team has added seven new faces to their roster and last night was a chance to see how they would gel.
"It took a little while for us to get used to the physicality of the Jags," says head coach Derek Loomer. "They're a pretty physical team, and they play hard of their sticks."
"I thought we got there for some good stretches of the game, and it showed on the score clock."
"Once they get hungry, and get that passion they all want to score. We'll have lots of scoring by committee, which is the way we usually do it, and we have a good group again this year."
Team captain Shelby Kirkpatrick was glowing from the excitement of returning to the ice after the game and says the dressing room was buzzing.
"Oh man, the vibes are just so good tonight. Everybody's so excited to be back," says Kirkpatrick. "It was a long go without it, but we all tried our best to be ready to go, and I think we were tonight."
"It took a little time to shake some of the rust off, get in the rhythm. This is really the first time we've all played together, so just getting to know everybody, but, yeah, we came together pretty good by the end."
Since they were formed two seasons ago, the Jags haven't yet figured out how to beat the Chaos, but it's not from a lack of effort.
"They don't really pay attention to the score clock, they just keep battling all the way through," says Loomer. "That's a pretty good quality trait to have as a hockey club, and that's how you get better."
The second game in a home-and-home series goes at 5 p.m. today at Calgary's Max Bell arena.
The Chaos are back on home ice on Oct. 9 to once again face the Jags.