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Cochrane Chaos excited for 2022-23 home-opener on Sunday

“Back in Cochrane, we have such great support and we’re really looking forward to another great season. Hopefully a lot of people can come out to see some very talented young ladies play a very exciting brand of hockey.”
SPO-ChaosHomeopener
The Cochrane Chaos junior women's hockey team is looking forward to its first home game of the 2022-23 AJFHL season Oct. 9.

After a road-heavy start to the 2022-23 campaign, the Cochrane Chaos junior women's hockey team is gearing up to finally play on home ice this season. 

On Sunday Oct. 9, the Chaos will host the Calgary Jags at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, with puck-drop slated for 4:30 p.m. 

Head coach Derek Loomer pointed out the Chaos opened their Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL) season against the Jags in late September, and with Cochrane having won that game, figures the Calgarians will be out for revenge.

“We’ll have played four games on the road before we have our first game at home, which is way different than what we’re use to,” he said “But we’re certainly excited for the chance to play in front of our home crowd. I’m fully expecting to have a good crowd.

“Hopefully we come out, have a really good game, [provide] some good entertainment for the fans, and come out with another win.”

The Chaos are currently sporting a 2-0-1 record after three games. They beat the Jags 4-1 on Sept. 25 to open the AJFHL campaign.

After that, on Oct. 1 and 2, they travelled north for the first time this season, downing the Sherwood Park Steele on Saturday 2-0 before tying the Edmonton Wolves 2-2 on Sunday.

Loomer said tired legs may have played a factor in the result on Sunday.

“It was our first weekend road trip and I think that impacted our second game,” he said. “But both games were really good battles – they were physical games and the girls had to fight through a lot of clutching and grabbing. It was a good challenge, and a good trip to go on.”

The Cochranites' next outing will require yet another lengthy bus trip, as they head south to face the Lethbridge Eagles – who just so happen to be the team that ended the Chaos' season last winter – on Oct. 8. They'll have little recovery time afterwards, as they take on the Jags in their home-opener the following day. 

Having already seen plenty of Alberta's highways in the first few weeks of the season, Loomer said he and the girls are excited to finally have a home game circled on their calendars. The coach added the Chaos' first home game will include plenty of community involvement, as the younger girls from the Junior Chaos program will play during the intermissions.

Entering their seventh year in the AJFHL, the Chaos are coming off another strong season. Showcasing one of the deepest benches in the league, the team went 26-2-0 in the 2021-22 regular season, and then defeated Calgary in the second round of the playoffs. 

But Cochrane's season ultimately ended in disappointment as they went out in the south division finals against Lethbridge – one of only two teams to beat the Chaos last season.

After a summer of reflection and with another shot at the AJFHL title officially underway, Loomer said it's exciting to be back on the ice. This year includes many of the same players from last season's roster, including Chaos captain Kaley Mueller, a fourth-year, 2000-born left-wing who is seeing out her last year of eligibility in the AJFHL.

With Mueller and other team mainstays leading the line-up, Loomer praised the Chaos' positive culture. He noted since joining the AJFHL seven seasons ago, the Cochrane team has been repeatedly competitive in Alberta's top U21 female hockey league. 

“This is our seventh season and I think right from year one, we had a really good core group that helped us establish our culture,” he said. “Once you have the right culture established, it makes it easier to recruit some of the players we like to join in and have that same attitude and capability. I think that consistency over the years has really helped us stay [competitive] and have positive and winning seasons each and every year.

“Back in Cochrane, we have such great support and we’re really looking forward to another great season. Hopefully a lot of people can come out to see some very talented young ladies play a very exciting brand of hockey.”

For scores, schedules, and more info on the Chaos, visit ajfhl.ca


Scott Strasser

About the Author: Scott Strasser

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