Should the Cochrane Chaos win both of their games this weekend they'll wrap up first place in the south division of the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL). If the Central Alberta Amazons have their way, though, the crowning will be delayed.
With four games remaining in their regular season, the Chaos are playing their last two games here on Feb. 9 and 10. Saturday's contest against the Calgary Jags goes at 7 p.m. and Sunday's start time is 5 p.m. against the Amazons. Both games are at Totem One in the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.
The Amazons beat Cochrane, 4-2, on Feb. 2 to even the regular season series between the rivals to two games apiece. Head coach Derek Loomer would like to see the Chaos get a little redemption for last weekend's loss and he's particularly anxious to get started with playoff preparations.
"As we head into playoffs I want us to start playing with a playoff mentality where every shift matters and any time in the game it could be a deciding factor," says Loomer.
Should they finish first in the south, the Chaos will be facing the Calgary Jags in a best-of-three series.
Games between the Chaos and Amazons these last two seasons have been intense and Sunday's game should be no different.
"Playing our game, getting solid goaltending and limiting their chances is the key to beating the Amazons. We need to take away their offensive game and take advantage of the opportunities we get."
Taking an early lead hasn't come as easily for the Chao this season and late goals have been needed to seal the deal. That wasn't the case when the Chaos beat the Titans, also in the hunt for first, on Feb. 3.
"Sunday we got a break and scored early and all of a sudden we were up 3-0. It's nice to play with a lead from the start to the finish, We haven't done that in a while. Good on the girls for coming back after the game on Saturday and playing really well against the Titans on Sunday."
The Sherwood Park Steele appears to have locked up first overall in the AJFHL and will have home ice advantage throughout their playoff run. The Chaos finished first last season and went on to face the Steele in the finals.
The provincial final is a best-of-five series.