Drumheller Dragons | DrumhellerMail - Page #10
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Last updateWed, 18 Apr 2018 5pm

Dragons ready for second half of season

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    While 2016 started with a bang, it ended with a whimper for the Drumheller Dragons. Despite this, the team continues to exceed expectations going into the second half of the season.
    The Dragons dropped their last four games leading up to the Christmas break, three of which were at home. Coach Brian Curran said with a young team, he expected a little bit of drop off.
    “I knew this was coming, I said this at the very beginning of the year. When you have 14 or 15 first year players, in a midget schedule, they have already played a full season,” he said. “I didn’t know when it was going to come. I don’t like the fact that it came at home. The last game that we played that I enjoyed watching was the game in Brooks (December 14). I thought our boys played really hard in that game and we definitely had a chance to win and I was proud of them. After that, I could see there was fatigue. I talked to all my players and a lot were tired.”
    He adds they were without three key veteran defensemen for some of those games.
    “We need that veteran leadership back there, and you could tell the back end was getting exploited in the last three games,” he said.
    “At the end of the day, they hit a wall, I think this break couldn’t have come at a better time and for me, I expect a lot of really good things when they come back.”
    It has been an exciting year for the Dragons. Starting the season with one of the youngest, if not the youngest squads in the league, have managed to put together 15 wins by the midway point and are almost playing .500 hockey.  While going into the second half of the season, he still has to get a couple players back from suspensions, he believes the team will be back on track.
    “After that, the team will see, and the people will see what they were watching most of the year, a hard working team, and they have developed ahead of schedule. Now we have to get them over that hump to the next level,” he said.
    He has seen growth with the squad and he has more expectations for the team.
    “My goal is to be able to go into the playoffs and be a team that nobody wants to play,” he said. “They have really bought into how when we are successful, they have to work as a group. I can see the growth of our defensemen where they are starting to play with confidence handling the puck,” he said. “When they are successful, they are doing it together rather than as individuals.”
    Because he has such a young group he is developing his players for now and the future, the first step was selecting players.
    “When you have that good character, they will only grow and grow. It is imperative as a coach to make sure every one of our kids understands. It is the simplest game I have ever coached this year. We are trying to keep it simple for them so they can grasp everything so that as time goes on, you have the basic foundations of our game play, and then we expand on it.”
    The Dragons are back on the ice this Friday, December 30 versus the Olds Grizzlys.


Dragons split weekend versus tough competition

Dragons action

    The Dragons had a strong weekend at home versus some tough competition, and came away with a win and a loss.
    The Drumheller Dragons hosted the Sherwood Park Crusaders on Friday night, December 9, and then on Saturday faced the Bonnyville Pontiacs. They were coming off an impressive overtime win versus the Brooks Bandits earlier in the week.
    Versus the Crusaders, the Dragons jumped out to the lead 9:32 in, when Tyler Kreklewich found the net. The Crusaders tied it up but Evan Tschumi retook the lead on the power play. The back and forth continued in the second period, as the Crusaders evened up again, but the Dragons ended the period up 3-2 thanks to Troy Dudley’s goal.
    The tables turned earlier in the third period as Sherwood Park scored twice in the first four minutes to go up 4-3. Brad Stonnell tied it just two minutes later, and then held until 1:19 left when Sherwood Park scored the winner, 5-4.
    The Dragons regrouped to get back on the ice on Saturday to play the Pontiacs. Bonnyville is second in the standings in the AJHL Viterra North, and are playing great hockey. The Pontiacs outshot the Dragons 18-6 in the first period, but ended the period tied. Markus Boguslavsky scored for the Dragons just 1:51 into the game. The Dragons’ power play was firing in the second period as Brett Campbell, and Kreklewich each scored to put Drumheller up 3-1.
    The Dragons scoring ways continued as Chad Harrison and Tyson Scott each scored in the third to put the Dragons up 5-1 for the win. Dane Dow faced 40 shots and stopped 39 in the win.
    The Dragons were in Calgary to take on the Calgary Mustangs on Tuesday, December 13, results not available at press time. Tonight (Wednesday, December 14), the Dragons are hosting the Brooks Bandits for the second time this season. It will be a special night as Cervus Equipment has lined up country singer Drew Gregory to perform at the game.

Drew Gregory to perform at Dragons game

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    Fans of hockey and country music are in for a treat come December 14, when the Dragons, Cervus and Drew Gregory come together for a night of fun.
    On Wednesday night, the Dragons’ regular season home game versus the Brooks Bandits goes at 7 p.m.  Cervus Equipment is that evening’s game sponsor and they are making an evening to remember, with its Christmas Hockey Night.
    “Drew will be doing a performance at the first intermission of the hockey game,” said Geoff Roy, Marketing Advisor with Cervus Equipment.
    Fans might get a chance to meet Gregory and get an autograph. There will also be a Cervus display with John Deere merchandise and giveaways. They have even guaranteed a $2,000 50/50. Don’t be surprised to see lots of Drew’s trademark John Deere hats in the arena.
    Drew Gregory continues to make his way in the music industry. Originally from down the road in Standard, his unique country music sound has been laid down on two full-length albums and last March he released his new EP I Was There. In 2015, he won the Alberta Country Music Association Male Artist of the Year.
    The country music singer and Cervus have built a great partnership.
    “Drew came on board with us. We partnered with him in late spring. He’s on team Cervus and he’s a good customer as well,” said Roy. “With Drew, he is involved in the communities. We sponsor many rodeos, and for many, he performs at. We have lots of exciting things coming up.”
    They will also be giving back at Christmas Hockey Night. In the arena will be a John Deere Gator they hope to fill with food donations for the local Salvation Army Food Bank. They encourage fans to bring a non-perishable food item to the game.


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