By Cole Parkinson
For Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
With July well underway, the Southern Alberta Chaos have had a back-and-forth season up to this point. Another two games came and went this past weekend, and the team once again split.
First up was a home game against the Strathmore Venom as the Chaos looked to rebound from the previous game where they lost to the same team 8-1. While the first period saw the two teams trade goals back and forth, the Chaos would take a 5-4 lead into the second period. From that point on it was all Chaos as they would outscore their opponent 5-1 in the second and 4-1 in the third en route to a 14-6 win. Austin Sheen had four goals and six assists in the win while Connor Materi had five goals and three assists. Brady Weasel Fat chipped in with two goals and two assists, Wyatt Vars and Xander Boyd each had a goal and two assists, Jaxon Buscholl and Ty Hansen had a pair of assists each, Luke Sheridan had a single goal, and Brock Higa, Hael Maxwell-Lyster, and Eyan Anderson all had an assist.
The team looked to roll on as they finished the weekend with a road date against the Rockyview Rage. In a game that saw plenty of scoring, both teams opened up with three each as they headed into the second tied 3-3. The second period was all Rage as they put up six while the Chaos added two of their own as the home team carried a 9-5 lead. Opposite of the second, the Chaos would score six of their own while the Rage scored two and the teams would head into a fourth and final frame tied 11-11. Unfortunately for the Chaos, the Rage would have the last laugh as they would find a goal in overtime to take the game 12-11. Sheen and Materi continued to lead the way offensively as they each had four goals and three assists. Vars added a goal and four assists, Boyd had a goal and two assists, Josiah Goosen had a goal, and Higa and Sheridan had an assist each.
Looking at the season so far, the coaching staff has been happy with how things have transpired. And with only two regular-season games left, their hoping it’s enough for home-floor advantage come playoffs.
“We are sitting pretty good this year — we just recently beat a team that hasn’t lost to an Alberta-based team all season 14-6,” said Jared Capner, head coach. “As of right now we’re sitting in a good spot for playoffs — a couple more wins and we could possibly get home floor which would be huge for the team and fans. On top of that We’re still really young which is good because it shows us what we have for the next couple of years and lets us have that solid core group that will lead the team moving forward. All in all, the team as a whole has done terrific things. The development we have seen this year and the growth that has happened is something that all the coaches have agreed has been amazing.”
The trade deadline just recently passed and the Chaos were able to add a few players to their roster. With these additions, the team hopes it brings more offence and leads the team to being more dangerous in that area of the floor.
“We traded for some offensive players from Calgary, so that was a big focus for us. Our defence is doing very good, so we are hoping that the new additions to the team will make us a bit more well-rounded. We are also looking to focus more on our transition game and moving the ball on the floor a little quicker to give our guys the best chance to put the ball in the net.”
Looking at the coaching staff, Capner is excited about what each person brings to the squad. Along with Capner, the team sees five assistant coaches (Taylor Burt, Chace Wiley, Cody Firth, Mike Materi, and Evan Douglas), a manager (Leanne Friesen), and a trainer (Gord Watt).
“The coaching staff this year has been amazing to work with. We are all on the same page which makes my job as the head coach a lot easier. We have our objectives for each weekend and focus on those during the week. The nice thing is we have played each team once already so we are able to identify things they do based on video which is a new thing for us this season,” explained Capner.
The regular season wraps up this weekend as the Chaos permeate for their final two games. On Saturday night, the Chaos head to Coaldale as they welcome in the Calgary Wranglers for a 5:30 p.m. game. Sunday sees the Chaos back on the road for a 1 p.m. game against the High River Heat.
The Chaos currently sit in fifth place in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League’s Tier II division with a 6-8 record and 18 points.