Hockey | 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.”

  • Dragon Cody Young commits to Augustana

    Drumheller Dragons player Cody Young commits to playing for the University of Alberta Augustana campus Vikings

    Another Dragon is on his way to playing at post-secondary level as Cody Young commits to the University of Alberta Augustana University for the 2017-2018 season.
        The 1996-born forward, originally from Saskatoon, will be playing for the Vikings in the Alberta College Athletics Conference (ACAC) Men’s Hockey League.
        “He also played a huge role helping Drumheller make the playoffs during an injury-filled season. He was a player that left everything he had on the ice and will be a valuable addition to the Augustana Vikings Men’s Hockey Program,” said Dragons head coach Kevin Hasselberg.
        Young came to the Dragons from the Spruce Grove Saints in November of the 2016/17 season. With the Dragons, he played 42 games with 19 goals and 15 assists.
        Over the course of Cody’s junior hockey career, he spent time with the Kindersley Klippers, Spruce Grove Saints, and the Dragons for career totals of 70 goals, 94 assists for 164 points. Cody was also selected to represent Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge during the 2014-15 season.
        “Cody had a tremendous junior career contributing to the success of the three Junior Programs he played for. He was instrumental leading the Kindersley Klippers into the playoffs in both of his seasons in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playing 19 postseason games,” said Hasselberg.
     As a Viking, Young will be joining former Drumheller Dragons Cody Fiala and Curtis Skip, and a number of AJHL alumni.

  • Dragons find preseason success

    The Dragons are in the midst of  preseason play. After their Orange and Black intrasquad game, above, they were in tournament play in Camrose. mailphoto by Terri Huxley

    While the preseason sample size is small, it appears that hockey fans in the Valley have an exciting season ahead watching the Drumheller Dragons.

    The team was in Camrose for a preseason tournament. On Wednesday, August 30, they played the Whitecourt Wolverines and won 7-4. The next day they faced off against the Camrose Kodiaks and won 8-5, and on Friday, they topped the Spruce Grove Saints, 5-3.

    For one thing, it appears they have some firepower.

    “Everybody loves to score,” said head coach Kevin Hasselberg.” “ think in the preseason we just take the reigns off and let the kids go. I think there are other things we can focus our attention on as coaches as far as getting our team prepared, but when it comes to the offense, for sure, you just really have to let the horses run and I think that these guys are thoroughbreds”.

    They showed they could be creative and put the puck in the net, and I think moving forward for Drumheller fans, it has got to be exciting.”

    He said the team also showed a strong kinship, especially early in the season.

    “One of the biggest things is the leadership and the camaraderie in our dressing room. Our guys are already having fun and doing things that typically teams at this time of the year would probably wouldn’t do because they are familiarizing themselves with the new coaching staff. They are also very familiar with each other, although there are some new players in there as well. I just love the camaraderie, and love the fact when they are at the rink they are having fun,” said Coach Hasselberg.

    This is reflected in their play on the ice.

    “It showed through in our performance. We were down a couple goals on two different occasions, they found a way to collect themselves and climb their way back into the hockey game. I don’t think a team that is uptight or nervous about a situation would have been able to do that,” said Hasselberg.

    The preseason continues this Wednesday, September 6 when the Dragons host the Olds Grizzlys for their first home game, a very familiar opponent.

    “I think as much as we are having a lot of fun here, and there is excitement surrounding a hockey team, I would venture to say there is probably a lot of excitement with the culture change that is happening in Olds,” he said.

    “They are experiencing the same things and they have had some preseason success. So obviously they are going to be coming into Drumheller with a lot of enthusiasm and energy as well.”

    Game time is 7:30 p.m.

    (mailphoto by Terri Huxley)

  • Dragons Hockey School wraps up

    Dragons Hockey Camp

    The first to get to try out the new look arena, complete with upgraded lighting was the Drumheller Dragons Hockey School. More than 60 young skaters came out to receive expert guidance from the Dragons’ coaching staff. The Dragons too will soon be on the ice with their first exhibition home game is coming up on September 6 versus the Old Grizzlies.

    mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

  • 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.”

  • Morgen’s masks getting noticed

    Morgen Schinnour showing off one of her newest creations as a mask designer

     

    There is an old adage that says “do you what you love and you won’t work a day in your life.” One Drumheller woman has taken her passions and turned them into her calling.

    Last time “the Mail” caught up with Morgen Schinnour, she had established Schinny Designs in Lethbridge, specializing in custom goalie masks, had designed masks for the

    National Ringette team, and saw her AJHL debut as the Drumheller Dragons’ Jonny Hogue donned one of her creations.

    Moving forward a year and a half, she is taking more and more orders, in what has become her full-time job. This summer, in particular, has been busy.

    “It kind of just happened in a frenzy in the last couple months,” she said.

    She just completed three masks for the University of Saskatchewan, The Lethbridge Pronghorns and the University of PEI.

    “I had five university masks all in one short period,” she said.

    “I thought it was pretty awesome.”

    She also had a mask debut in the WHL for Ryan Gilchrist of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

    These are the kinds of high profile masks that will help to build her reputation as a designer and artist in a very small, but competitive market.

    To make her mark means designing unique masks, but also making contacts and sometimes just good luck.

    “For the Saskatchewan Huskies ones, it was word of mouth. I did two last year for the Huskies; one was a returning goalie on the men’s team and the other two were for the women… the equipment manager for the women’s team saw my work for the men’s and said ‘oh, wow, let’s do this,’” she said

    Others are finding her on the Internet or on social media.

    She chuckles that she landed her WHL mask by doing a little “stalking.”

    “I messaged him (Gilchrist) on Instagram personally because I noticed his mask was blank white,” she said.

    She has found there is no off season in her line of work.

    “This year it has been pretty steady year round. I changed the way I am doing orders, I am taking deposits and booking them in line,” she said. “Last year I had a little bit stressful situation because in August I had 11, and in June and July I had a total of four. So this year in January I started booking in advance, and now I’m fully booked until November.”

    “I am averaging around 50-55 a year.”

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