The depth of talent in the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL) was showcased at the league's all-star game hosted in Cochrane for the first time ever.
The south and north divisions of the provincial league squared off in the game and skills competitions. The players of the different teams gelled quickly in a game that was fun, yet fast-paced and intense. In the end, the South won 5-2, but was a tight 3-2 battle until the final few minutes of play.
The Cochrane Chaos had six players dress for the game, mainly those who were lacing up for the last game of their junior career.
Among them was Kalaina Kozak, who finished second in scoring for the team.
"It was nice to finish with a win," says Kozak. "It's the one thing I wanted to see us do before I finished my junior hockey."
She says it was a lot of fun to lace up for the all-star game and meet some of the other players in the league and create new friendships.
Kozak says she enjoyed every single day of being a Chaos and the tight bond the players had, pointing to the stands.
"Basically, our whole team came to the all-star game this year. That meant a lot to all of us on the ice."
Kelly Stanford, the league's leading scorer this season, is eligible for one more year of juniors but is moving to Nova Scotia to complete her degree. She leaves with plenty of memories to cherish from being a Chaos.
"I love all the girls and coming to hockey every day," she says. "They've been super welcoming. Ever since the first year, it's been great."
Even though she's heading to the other side of the country, she intends to keep in close contact.
"I've got some of my best friends on this team, so I know we'll always be in contact throughout the rest of our lives. Honestly, they'll be at my wedding, I'll be at there's... yeah, I love these girls."
Defender Jordan Holt is in her second season with the club and intends to return to the Chaos next season. Before that, she was playing for Elmira College Eagles in New York State. It was her first all-star game appearance.
"I thought it was great to get all the teams together and to play with the graduating girls one last time."
League president Jeff Fischer says the all-star game is typically close with plenty of action. This year was no different.
"The shots are we're very close, like 30 apiece. These all-star events are always tight."
This was the league's 14th season and he says the hockey talent of players is always improving.
"I guess it's hats off to Hockey Alberta for progressing the female game, but it also goes out to the players for showing what they're capable of doing."
One way they did that on All-Star Sunday was by holding a skills competition. There were events for fastest skater, fastest goaltender, hardest shot, most accurate shot, and top goalie.
Before the all-star game, the Jr. Chaos also held a skills competition for their U13A team and some U15 players.