This Saturday is an important day for the Cochrane Chaos of the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL) in many ways.
The Chaos are hosting the AJFHL defending champion Sherwood Park Steele in their 2nd Annual Owen Moore Memorial Game at Totem One in the SLS Family Sports Centre starting at 7 p.m.
Emotions will ride high in the opening ceremony when they stop to remember Owen Moore, older brother to Kelly and Sarah Moore who played for the Chaos in their first season. Owen committed suicide on May 26, 2017.
This year, donations will be accepted at the game for the Distress Centre, which has provided 24-hour crisis support in Calgary and southern Alberta since 1970.
Owen’s parents, Betty and Randy, have never shied away from speaking about the tragedy of suicide and will speak briefly before the game. They are encouraging people to attend the game and show their support for our youth.
“Suicide may seem like a scary topic to discuss and perhaps, it seems like something that could never affect you,” write the Moore family in advance of the game. “We sincerely hope that it never does affect you, but it can.”
They point out there were 604 deaths by suicide in Alberta in 2017. Of those, 78 were from the 14 to 24 years old age group where suicide is the second leading cause of death after motor vehicle accidents.
“For each completed suicide, it is estimated that 100 people attempted to end their lives. For each completed suicide, estimates say that 7-10 people are ‘profoundly affected’. Suicide is a very real and present issue in everyone’s world."
Chaos head coach Derek Loomer, who coached both Kelly and Sarah, says it is an important night for the team.
“It’s promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention and we’ll have a chance to reflect on that as an organization and hopefully help some people.”
The game was previously held at Springbank’s outdoor arena but was moved to Cochrane this year because of changes to the outdoor rink’s layout.
The Chaos also hosts their annual team dinner on Saturday.
Loomer is expecting a close game against the Steele, who beat the Chaos last year in the AJFHL final.
The Steele beat the Chaos, 4-2, earlier this season in what he believes was one of the best games of the season. Now, the team is hoping to even the score in their only other matchup of the regular season.
“They beat us in Sherwood Park earlier this year and we need to hand them a similar loss this weekend to balance it out and to get in the position that we know we have beaten them before we go into playoffs. We hope to end up meeting them in the final again if everything works out.”
The Chaos have used an eight-game winning streak to rise to the top of the standings in the south division of the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL).
On the road last weekend, the Chaos downed the Central Alberta Amazons, 4-3, then beat the Calgary Titans, 3-2, the next day,.