The Cochrane Chaos home opener at the SLS Centre has always been a special celebration of female hockey.

This Saturday, there's another great reason to cheer loud and proud.

Head coach Derek Loomer says it will be their first home opener as the defending provincial champions.

They've been a fierce competitor since entering the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 2016-17, making it to the provincial championship several times. Last season, they raised the cup on the road in the championship series against Sherwood Park.

Now, we'll get the first look at the banner they've brought home to Cochrane.

Loomer says their home opener has always been special and involves members of Cochrane Minor Hockey's Jr. Chaos teams. This year he anticipates about 40 emerging players will be participating in the players' introductions and intermission scrimmages.

There'll also be some special guests at the game.

"I think we've got a lot of our alumni coming out to be part of the unveiling of the banner and to be there to support the team," says Loomer. "They played a large important role in getting us to where we are today with that championship win last year, so it's going to be nice to have them there."

The ceremony starts shortly after 5 p.m. in Totem One at the SLS Centre before their game against the Central Alberta Amazons.

"It's our first game against someone from the north side with the Central Alberta Amazons, so it'll be interesting just to see how we stack up against them. They've been doing fairly well and hopefully, we'll be ready to compete."

The Amazons are three games into their season and have gone into overtime twice. They have two wins and an overtime loss.

The Chaos won their first two games on the road against the Lethbridge Eagles and newly-formed Foothills Storm. 

He says the Storm played hard in their 5-2 loss to the Chaos on Oct. 7 in Blackie.

"They've got some good players and I think their organization has solid support from the community. It reminds me a lot of our first year in the league and, you know, I think they're only going to get better."

The Chaos game is the first of a junior hockey doubleheader. The Cochrane Generals hit the ice in the second game at 8:15 p.m. in hopes of getting some redemption against the Coaldale Copperheads. A loss to Coaldale is the only blemish on their record so far this season. 

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