The Cochrane Chaos continued to measure up to the tough defensive play of the Central Alberta Amazons and are now South Division Champions of the Alberta Female Junior Hockey League.
The Chaos won the best-of-three series two game straights with a pair of 1-0 wins over the Amazons. Now they face the defending league champion Sherwood Park Steele for the Alberta title in a five-game series that starts here with a pair of games on Sat. Mar. 17 and Sun. Mar. 18.
It was Cochrane's Summer Gibbons who toughed it out in front of the Amazons net and pushed the puck by the stick side of goalie Nisa Bartlett in the opening game. Assists went to Brette Matheson and Jenna Wasylik.
Game two in the Amazon's Penhold barn was another one-goal affair. Faith Gette scored from Shelby Kirkpatrick.
Chaos goalie Megan Parkyn earned two more shutouts and has now notched seven on the season and is carrying an incredible 0.91 goals against average.
Head coach Derek Loomer says it was a phenomenal series to be part of it and both teams battled hard, as they have all season.
"It was a great series to go head-to-head with them. I do think overall we outplayed them in both games. We had the upper hand on shots and zone time. They play a determined defensive game and they held us off well. The goals we got we worked very hard for."
Gibbons goal is an example of how you need to stand your ground in front of Amazons' star goaltender Bartlett and a very physical defense.
"That's what we tell the girls all the time, you have to go in front of the net and pay the price if we're going to score on these guys," says Loomer. "Summer's really good at that."
Still, the Chaos believe they have some unfinished business and are determined to bring the cup to southern Alberta. For most of the league's 10-year history, it has stayed north.
"We're very proud to win the south, but in the room, we feel there's a lot of unfinished business. We have the series coming up with the champions from last year who are also having a very good season again. So we're looking forward to another very strong series."
Even though the Chaos have a better regular season record, the Steele aren't to be taken lightly.
"It's going to be excellent hockey. If you saw the Amazon game and how intense that was, it's only going to get better."
The two teams split their regular season matchups and both games came before the Christmas break.
"I imagine the team we're going to face will be different than the one we saw in the first half. We don't know much about them so we're really focusing on how we want to approach the game. We'll play our game and we'll make adjustments when we see what their forecheck is and where their strengths are and go from there."
The Sherwood Park-Edmonton series went the distance. The Edmonton Wolves won the opener but the Steele battled back to win the last two. The Wolves were the only team to beat the Chaos on home ice this season.
Game time is 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 2:15 p.m. in Totem One at the SLS Family Sports Centre.