Sports | DrumhellerMail
Last updateThu, 19 May 2022 8am

Drumheller U15 Smash claim provincial gold


The Drumheller U15 Drumheller Volleyball Club Smash struck gold at provincials and has its sights set on Nationals.
The Smash, coached by Audrey DeBona and Koren McDougald, competed at provincials in Calgary on Saturday, May 8 and 9. They came home with gold medals.
“I knew the girls could win and I believe they knew they could too,” said DeBona “They improved 100 per cent since Day 1 last December. Despite COVID and injuries, we did it.”
“When they won they were so pumped.”
The team played 14 games in two days, four matches on Day 1 and then three on Day 2. The team lost one match in round-robin and placed second in their pool. They topped the Brooks Rush in the semifinal and then played Fort Saskatchewan Sonics in the final.
“We were down by seven points in both games and just kept going, it was awesome. I was so happy for the girl, they were on fire this weekend,” said DeBona.
The Smash won in two straight games.
What made the win more impressive is they are a young team.
“It is a U15 team, but I have six that are U14. I took them at the beginning of the year so we could have enough for two teams,” said DeBona. She adds the team has regional representation with players from Carbon and Three Hills.
It was also the first complete season for the team as the previous two were cut short due to COVID-19.
She adds the team has had great support off the court.
“We have the best parents, they have been excellent all year,” said DeBona
The team practices two to three times a week at Greentree School. DeBona said the team has done a lot of bonding since they began in December on and off the court, including e-biking, ice cream dates, and even yoga.
“They have come together and everyone has their job on the team to contribute, and that’s what helped us win provincials
The Smash is now preparing for nationals.
The 2022 Youth Nationals are from May 18-21 at the Edmonton Expo Centre.

Dragons up for league awards

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Last week the AJHL announced its 2021-2022 awards finalists, and there are a couple of members of the Drumheller Dragons organization on the list.
The annual awards include Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Outstanding Defenceman, Top Goaltender, Most Dedicated Player, and Coach of the Year. For the first time, the AJHL will also present a Top Forward Award.
The general managers and coaches of the Alberta Junior Hockey League have selected a pair of finalists from each division through two phases of voting. The award winners will be determined through a final stage of voting and announced after the AJHL regular season.
Myles Hilmans is a finalist for the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy for Most Dedicated Player.
Hilman is playing in his third season as a Drumheller Dragon, and second as captain. The 18-year-old is having his best season yet with 24 goals and 23 assists in 47 games, averaging a point a game. He was a ninth-round pick in the 2018 WHL draft, and the forward has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Dragons coach Kevin Hasselberg is a finalist for Coach of the Year. Hasselberg has been head coach and general manager for the Dragons since the 2017-2018 season and last week celebrated his 1,000th game as a junior hockey coach. Prior to leading the Dragons, he coached in Olds and also for the North Battleford North Stars. He has coached almost 270 games for the Dragons.

Drumheller Dragons take big win into start of postseason

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The Dragons wrapped up the 2022 regular season with a big win over the top team in the country and are on to play the Calgary Canucks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Dragons secured second place in the AJHL Viterra standings behind the Brooks Bandits, in which they played a home and away series to finish the regular season.
The Bandits were in the Dragons’ Den on Friday, February 25, and fans were treated to a high-scoring, fast-paced exciting game. Carter Belitski opened the scoring for the Dragons midway through the first period on the powerplay. While the Bandits tied it up five minutes later, it took less than a minute for Kiano Robinson to put the Dragons back on top. Again the Bandits tied it, but just nine seconds later Ty Whitford put the Dragons up 3-2 to end the first period.
A penalty at the end of the first put the Dragons on the powerplay to start the second and Ty Daneault put the Dragons up 4-2. The Bandits clawed one back, but Beltiski scored his second of the game 4:27 into the period to go up 5-3. The Bandits got hot and rattled off three goals to take the lead, but Hayden Prosofsky scored a powerplay with less than two minutes in the second period left to tie the game at 6.
It took the Bandits 2:49 to get the winner in the third period as the Bandits won 7-6.
The next night the Dragons were in Brooks to close out the regular season. This time Brooks scored first and led 1-0 after one period. Daneault tied it up midway through the second, and then Kody Willick put the Dragons up 2-1, five minutes into the third. The Bandits tied it up, but Luke Fennig scored the winner with 10:41 left in the game for the Dragons’ final victory of the regular season.
The Dragons finished in second place in the south with a 34-18-8 record and fifth-best in the league. This put them on to face the Calgary Canucks in the first round of the playoffs.
Their post-season begins on Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5 at home. Games start at 7 p.m.

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