AJHL | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateThu, 12 Dec 2019 6pm
  • Dragons release preseason schedule

    kevin hasselberg pensacola

    The countdown is on for the beginning of the AJHL season and the Drumheller Dragons have been working hard to prepare.

    On August 2, the Dragons released its preseason schedule. The team hits the ice versus the Whitecourt Wolverines, the

    Camrose Kodiaks and the Spruce Grove Saints at a preseason tournament in Camrose from August 30 to September 1.

    Their first home exhibition game is Wednesday, September 6 versus the Olds Grizzlys and then on Friday, September 8, they play the Brooks Bandits.

    While the ice has just been installed for the season at the Drumheller Memorial Arena, Coach Kevin Hasselberg has been busy working with the staff and roster.

    “Number one, we want to establish a culture of excellence. The agreement between ownership, my own philosophies and the introduction of the management committee, I think there is a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of people that are willing to put in the work and a lot of support from the community,” said Hasselberg.

    He says it is key to create a culture and identity.

    “Summarizing it quickly, is “better people make better Dragons.’ I think it all starts with having good people in place. I think the previous staff has done a tremendous job of identifying good character people,” said Hasselberg. “When they put that jersey on, you know when they graduate from our program, that whoever gets to wear that jersey next has to have to really step up their game and have a very positive impact on the hockey team to wear it with as much pride as the previous owner.”

    While there have been some arrivals and departures during the off-season, Hasselberg said a core of quality players will be back this season.

    “I think everybody who has played a season for the Dragons… deserves that opportunity to be a part of this. They laid the groundwork for what we want to build moving forward, I think we really have to lean on those young men to keep establishing that culture,” said Hasselberg.

    While he was not with the Dragons last season, he was impressed with how they finished the season despite the turmoil.

    “I watched the team in the playoff last year, there isn’t a player on that ice coming back to this team this season that didn’t play with a lot of heart, determination, and they were very passionate about how they performed and I think it said a lot about those young men,” said Hasselberg. “We are going to pick on character first, and evaluate skill and talent.”

    “Right now with a post season evaluation of a group of players, who all want to come back to a program that experienced some significant challenges over the course of the season, I think that says a lot about those kids.”

  • Dragons keep building for season

    The Drumheller Dragons AJHL hockey team commit to another season of play with their schedule becoming available in

    The Drumheller Dragons are busy on the off season fortifying their lines, and a have added to their roster after completing a number of transactions.
        On June 16 they announced the completion of future considerations from a transaction finalized on January 10, with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Last January Captain Stefan Wood requested a trade, and this week the Dragons acquired 98 born forward Brett Edwards.
         Edwards brings experience. The Grande Prairie native had 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in 114 games. Brett has 14 play-off games under his belt and was part of last year’s Oil Barons run to the final four in pursuit of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Gas Drive Cup. During that run, Brett scored 2 goals and added 2 assists.
        “Edwards is an experienced player from a respected program. He will add to the speed and depth of our team and will be relied upon to create in the offensive zone. We believe Brett will contribute on the special teams and he will be trusted in key situations during games,” said Dragons coach Kevin Hasselberg.
        This came a week after the Dragons picked up forward Dawson Bruneski. The team completed the futures from a transaction finalized on December 31, 2016 with the Whitecourt Wolverines. In exchange for 97 forward Evan Tschumi, the Dragons received the playing rights of 97 born defenseman Josh Bishop and now will add 99 forward Dawson Bruneski to complete the trade.
        “Dawson is a welcome addition to our hockey team. He is familiar with returning players on the current Dragons Roster and has earned the respect of his peers already at just 18 years of age. We believe Dawson can be an offensive contributor combined with his efforts to play a 200 foot game. His courage, grittiness, and selfless play will help forge the culture of our team as we head into the 2017/18 season,” said Hasselberg.Bruneski of Camrose Alberta played in 56 games last season and had 5 goals and added 13 assists for 18 points.
         Dragons’ prospects will be arriving in Drumheller for Main Camp on August 25th for fitness testing. The first ice sessions are scheduled for August 26. A full schedule will be made available on the Dragons website in early August.

  • Drumheller Dragons open season Friday at home

    Brady Risk has a chance last Wednesday versus the Olds Grizzlys. The Dragons finished the  preseason with a 5-1 record and open the regular season this Friday versus the Camrose Kodiaks. mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

    The Dragons showed continuous improvement as they battled their way through the preseason, and are now set for their home opener this Friday.

    The Dragons hosted the Olds Grizzlys on Wednesday, September 6, and won 5-3 pushing their preseason record to 4-0 and outscoring their opponents 25-15.

    On Friday night, September 8, they hosted the Brooks Bandits and then traveled to Brooks on Sunday for a matinee game.

    These games were a lot closer as the Dragons won Friday 3-2, but fell 5-4 in overtime Sunday.

    They ended the preseason 5-1. Coach Kevin Hasselberg says he like the progress the team has made.

    “You have to learn to be a good team in all situations, and this last game in Brooks was a situation that served our team very well and we are extremely happy with the results moving forward even though we didn’t end up on the right side of the score sheet.

    We learned a lot about each other and something to build on moving forward,” said Hasselberg.
    Drumheller has a long history with the Brooks Bandits, and this game served as a starting point for the team in its progression.

    “We feel that any of our players can compete with anybody now, and it is just about getting better every single day,” said Hasselberg. “That is our goal and that is what we want to do, and I know the players are building for that as well and excited to be a part of that.”

    The Dragons officially open the regular season this Friday at home versus the Camrose Kodiaks. For Hasselberg, he wants his team to focus on the basics.

    “The game is so simple, we just have to make sure we are playing hard consistently over the full 60 minutes of the game, and we are playing on the right side of the puck,” he said. These are two things we are really focused on right now. I know the players are going to work hard this week in practice and the coaching staff is going to be working just as hard. Our goal is to be better than our last game and I know our guys are ready to do that.”

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