The Cochrane Chaos stormed back with three unanswered goals in the third to tie the Sherwood Park Steele in a showdown between the top teams in the north and south division of the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL) in Cochrane, Jan. 19.
The Steele took a commanding 3-0 lead after two but the Chaos snipers went to work to tie the match in the third and force overtime. Chaos goalie Jenna Weseen and the Steele’s Alyshah Beutler both proved unbeatable in sudden death, coming up with several big saves.
It was Faith Gette who sniped a short-handed goal to secure the comeback tie for the Chaos from Shelby Kirkpatrick. For the play, she says she utilized a move the team has been practicing to generate breakaway opportunities and it proved successful.
Gette says the team never lost faith, even when they were down 3-0.
"We started a bit slow but we knew had to keep pushing hard and eventually they would start going in," says Gette.
The other two goals came on Cochrane's formidable powerplay. Audrey Buston redirected a shot from the point by Elizabeth Wong into the top corner to put the Chaos on the scoreboard. Three minutes later Shelby Kirkpatrick scored from Aspen Kozak and Faith Gette.
Head coach Derek Loomer says the team got off to a slow start but within 10 minutes had found their form and took control of the play. The Buston goal opened the floodgate.
"Our girls were energized," says Loomer. "Once you get that one scoring play you stimulate enthusiasm and build momentum and you roll with it. Your mind all of a sudden takes over and your body can't shut it down anymore."
Steele head coach Derrick Odenbach says the defnding champs took too much comfort in their lead and had to get their legs moving again late in the third to hold the Chaos to a tie.
The Chaos and Steele met in the provincial final last year and you can't write off the potential of a rematch.
"They're definitely a good team," says Chaos captain Aspen Kozak. "We struggle against them a little bit mentally because they have won the league two years in a row."
Still, she says the club is eager for another crack at bringing home the provincial championship, and if it happens to be against the Steele so be it.
"I wouldn't mind it, especially if we could play that (third) period for four or five games in the finals," says Kozak.
With the tie, the Chaos remain first in the south.
Owen Moore Memorial
The game was the 2nd annual Owen Moore Memorial in support of suicide prevention and raised $1,003 for Calgary Distress Centre's connecTEEN. It offers 24/7 hotline and peer support on a daily basis. Their hotline number is 403-264-TEEN (403-264-8336).
Owen Moore, the older brother of two former Chaos players, committed suicide in May 2017. Last season, the Chaos established the Owen Moore Memorial game to not only remember Owen but to bring the issue of youth suicide to the forefront. Owen's mother, Betty, spoke at the game to discuss the issue. She and her husband Randy also participated in a ceremonial puck drop.
Chaos captain Kozak says the team has rallied behind the family and has helped them share their message.
"It's really hard," she says. "As a team, you get close like a family, so to watch your friends go through something as tragic as suicide is really heartbreaking."
Kelly and Sarak Moore were members of the 2016-17 team and many of the new Chaos players may not know the family but stand behind the cause.
"The new players have all got on board and supporting this cause and supporting the family. It means a lot to our team we're so happy to do it and to have other people come to share in the message and share his story."