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Last updateSat, 24 Feb 2018 12pm

Dragons split in first home stand

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    The Dragons earned their first win of the season, and they did it on home ice.
    The Dragons celebrated their home opener on Friday, September 23, taking on the Calgary Mustangs.
    After outshooting the Mustangs 14-3 in a scoreless first period, Bradley Stonnell found the net 3:42 into the second. Just 14 seconds later, Blake Kleiner put the Dragon up by 2. The Mustangs answered back, but Leif Mattson put the Dragons up 3-1. A minute later Jordan Taupert also found the net. The Mustangs scored one more to end the period, but it was too little too late as Drumheller won 4-2.
    Coach Brian Curran liked the effort.
    “I loved about 35 minutes of that game,” he said. “It was our home opener, we came out strong and the guys played together as a team. When we got up to our fourth goal, we got away from our team concept, and began playing more like individuals. That was hard, I didn’t enjoy that.”
    The next night the Dragons hosted the Whitecourt Wolverines, who were stung by the Brooks Bandits the night before.
    “Whitecourt is a much older team than we are, lots of veterans there,” said Curran.
    Outshooting the Dragons 14-3 in the first period, the Wolverines went up 1-0 on the powerplay. The Dragons evened it up in the second, when Slater Dykema scored, assisted by Taupert and Joren Patenaude.
    The Wolverines jumped ahead in the second with two goals, but with two minutes left, Dykema scored, ending the game 3-2 for Whitecourt.
    “They deserved the win there is no question about it, but I was very proud of our players, the way they competed all night,” said Curran.  “We know that we are going to get better. We know everyone is going to get better, but if we put that kind of commitment and work ethic into it, the way we battled, it shows we can compete with them.
    “At the end of the day if we keep getting that kind of effort, and we continue our growth and the path we are on, everyone is going to be seeing a different team in two months.”
    The Dragons are playing in a tournament weekend in Camrose where on Thursday, September 29, they play the Drayton Valley Thunder, and on Friday, play the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. They are back home on Friday, October 7 to play the Calgary Canucks.


Dragons win home opener

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The Dragons earned their first win of the season, and they did it on home ice.
The Dragons celebrated their home opener on Friday, September 23, taking on the Calgary Mustangs.
After outshooting the Mustangs 14-3 in a scoreless first period, Bradley Stonnell found the net 3:42 into the second. Just 14 seconds later Blake Kleiner put the Dragon up by 2. The Mustangs answered back, but Leif Mattson put the Dragons up 3-1. A minute later Jordan Taupert also found the net. The Mustangs scored one more to end the period, but it was too little too late as the Drumheller won 4-2.
The Dragons are back on home ice Saturday night to play the Whitecourt Wolverines.

Dragons split preseason series with Lloydminster

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About 400 fans were able to see the 2016-2017 edition of the Drumheller Dragons and saw some bright spots.

The Dragons wrapped up the exhibition season last Friday night at the Drumheller Memorial Arena. The night before they were in Lloydminster where they beat the Bobcats 3-1.  Both teams returned for the rematch, and Drumheller looked strong out of the gate. The Dragons outshot the Bobcats 14-2 in the first period, and went up 2-0 with goals from Brayden Nicholetts on the power play, and then Tyler Oakenfold.

        “In the first 35 minutes there is not much we can say negative about our team,” said head coach Brian Curran. “We did a lot of good things, I think our d-zone was good, our transitional good, our neutral zone as good, we were playing physical and we competed really hard.”

It didn’t take long for the Bobcats to get back in it, ending the second period tied at two, and then scoring the winner in the third.

        “Their goalie kept them in the game, and then we had a breakdown. I felt the momentum changed, instead of playing as a team we played more like individuals after scored the second goal on the power play,” said Curran. “We lost our composure.”

        “Did we work hard? Extremely hard. For the first 35 minutes we worked as a team, for the last 25, we worked as individuals.”

        Despite the loss, there were many positives for the young Dragons.

        ‘”I felt we controlled a lot of the play in both games, but we leaned a lot. We made some young mistakes and I am glad they are happening now. There is no question we are the youngest team in the league and I think if we can push it and grow together as team, we will just get better and better,” said Curran,

        The focus for Curran has to be hard work.

“They are a hard working team,” he said. “The effort is going to be there every night. We won’t have players who are not going to compete. If they are not competing, they are going to put themselves in the stands, and they have been made well aware of that.”

While he doesn’t demand perfection, he demands progress.

        “We know this is a work in progress… but as long as we are growing all years teams will know what to expect from us.”

The Dragons kick off the regular season on Friday, September 16 in Camrose. Their home opener is Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the game there is a tailgate party at the BCF with food, games, prizes and face painting. That action kicks off at 5 p.m.


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