Chaos reigns at women’s hockey jamboree

Team Chaos took the top prize at the second annual International Whitehorse Women’s Hockey Jamboree, with a 3-2 overtime win against Team Evil on Sunday at Takhini Arena.

You might not expect a squad with the name Chaos to excel in a teamwork driven sport, but in this case, the name was just a name.

Team Chaos took the top prize at the second annual International Whitehorse Women’s Hockey Jamboree, with a 3-2 overtime win against Team Evil on Sunday at Takhini Arena.

With teams created just before the tournament, there wasn’t much time for the squads to gel, but there was still plenty room for fun.

“I think it’s one of the best ways to hold a tournament for fun,” said Chaos captain Cheryl Rivest, who was named her team’s Most Sportswomanly Player (MSP). “They break it up so you have an equal amount of talent on each team, and it’s lots of fun because it’s not serious. You don’t have people trying to stack teams.

“That way people who aren’t playing (in a league) this year, can come out and still have fun.”

Down 2-1 with just two minutes left in regulation, Team Evil pushed the final to overtime with a goal from Claudia Heath, who, with two Chaos players on her, redirected a backhand pass from teammate Danielle Hodgson to score.

“It looked like they were setting up at the blue line – cherry picking – and they were getting behind us,” said Rivest. “They had some pretty good chances there.

“This was our third game of the day, so we were getting a little pooped. But we were lucky, yesterday we only had to play two games and some of the teams had to play three.”

However, Chaos, who went undefeated over the weekend, took the win with two minutes, 43 seconds left in overtime, on a goal from Chantelle Rivest, slipping a wrist-shot through the five-hole of Evil goalie Nancy Pumphrey from 20 feet out. Chantelle also scored her team’s opening goal unassisted to go up 1-0 in the first, cutting to the right in front of Pumphrey, lifting a backhand upstairs. Also scoring for Chaos was Stacy Zaychuk, assisted by Georgie Townrow, at the end of the first.

Scoring to make it 1-1 in the first was Evil’s Brianne Young, assisted by Cody Claggett.

With goalie Crystal Stewart injured early on, Team Evil found themselves needing a netminder for their final games. Pumphrey, who hadn’t played in net for years, slapped on the pads and was named her team’s MSP for her efforts.

“She hadn’t played goalie for years,” said Evil forward Jennifer Whipple. “She was rusty, but she played great.

“So I think we voted her (MSP) because she worked so hard.

“We had a lot of fun and everyone is really happy with how well we did,” she added. “We did what we could, had a great game, and everyone is really happy.”

Named MSP for the tournament was Blizzard goalie Brooke McKenzie. Natasha Dunmall was third place Avalanche’s MSP, while Jen Olsen was for the fourth place Dynamite team and Laura Grieve for the last place Blizzards.

Like the Whitehorse Women’s Hockey League, the jamboree expanded from four teams to five this year with 62 players up from 45. No Alaskans participated this year, but there was Myranda Charlie from Old Crow playing on Team Avalanche, plus players from Dawson, Haines Junction and, of course, Whitehorse.

“They’re all different teams (from last year), but everyone puts in their names and they could say if they wanted to play with someone and we tried to match them up as best as we could,” said jamboree organizer and Evil defenceman Lily Gontard. “For the most part I think everyone got to play with their friends.

“There was a real mix. The teams are equal in that they each have a third of really advanced – some super, expert players.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com