Three Cochrane Minor Hockey teams have advanced to their respective provincial championship tournaments so far.
The U15AA Bow Valley Timberwolves, Cochrane Rockies U15 T1, and U13A Cochrane Jr. Chaos have all earned a berth after winning their series over the weekend.
The Timberwolves beat the Wheatland Warriors 8-4 in the opening game of the South Central Alberta Hockey League (SCAHL) finals and wrapped it up 4-2 on the road on Mar. 12. They now have a week off until provincials.
The Timberwolves have put together an almost perfect record--37 wins, one loss, and one tie--through the regular season and playoffs.
Head coach Alex Miller says they knew they had a skilled squad at the beginning of the season, but this is truly exceptional.
"Skill-wise we're special, but what really makes the team truly special is the attitude and efforts of the guy, the work they're willing to put in, and the buy-in that we have. To have that as a whole group is rare, but we got that from everybody this year. That's when you know it's really going to click, that's when we knew it was going to be really special."
At provincials in Wainwright from Mar. 23 to 25, they face the other four top teams from across the province in a round-robin. The top two coming out of the round-robin play for gold and third and fourth for bronze.
Heading into the provincials, the team has players from both Cochrane and Canmore with experience from last year's provincials.
The U13A Jr. Chaos are returning to the provincials for a second consecutive year after rebounding from a 4-3 loss in the opening game of the best-of-three. They beat Red Deer 4-3 on the road and wrapped it up at home on Mar. 11 with a 3-0 win in front of a fired-up hometown crowd. It's their second consectuive Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League championship banner.
Head coach Ryan McKay says the team was determined to win.
"They were excited. We lost the first game of the series, battled back to tie it up, hometown crowd, and the girls just wanted it more."
Team captain Kaia says she has confidence in her team.
"We've been working really, really hard this whole season to win the banner and go back to provincials."
McKay says they finished sixth in last year's provincials but believes it will be much different this time around.
Camrose is hosting their provincials, also Mar. 23 to 26.
Also heading to the provincials that same weekend is the Cochrane Rockies U15 T1 team, the Central Alberta Hockey League champions.
There are possibly other teams heading to the provincials. Among them is the U18 AA Timberwolves, the north division champions of the SCAHL after defeating the Red Deer Elks, 2-1, on Mar. 12.
They face the Medicine Hat Hounds for the league championship this weekend.