After a 9-1 drubbing to the Bandits last Friday night, the Dragons came home, hoping to shake off the loss, and found success.
“The important thing is after the game (Friday) our players were disappointed with the way it went, and made the decision they weren’t going to accept that,” said coach Dan Price. “They came back Saturday and played the right way and they were rewarded.”
The Bandits came out Saturday and lit up the scoreboard, and had the Dragons down 3-0 by midway through the second period. Despite this, coach Price said the Dragons were playing strong.
“We really felt like we were winning the game, although we were behind on the scoreboard, we were carrying the game. We had 19 shots in the first period, we had the advantage on special teams. We thought we were physical and fast and were bringing energy. No disrespect to Brooks but we thought we were playing really well,” said Price.
The Dragons remained cool as Ashton Reinboldt scored on the powerplay with three minutes left in the second period. This opened the gates as the third period saw Justin Morello score two in and row and then Robert Geddes fired off the winner on the powerplay with 12 minutes left. The Dragons held on for a 4-3 win.
“There was no panic, there was no frustration. We just believed we were playing well and would be rewarded,” said Price. “I have to give my guys credit they stuck with the process and then pucks started going in.”
This is a far cry from the team that took the ice just a day before against the same opponent.
“First and foremost the responsibility for that game lies solely with me. I thought based on the week of practice, I felt the players were prepared and focus and clearly heading into the game on Friday night. We weren’t as prepared and focused as we should have been,” said Price.
Brooks scored at will against the Dragons on Friday night including two short handed goals in the second period. Brooks out shot the Dragons 45 to 22. Marcus Toye scored the lone goal for the Dragons midway through the third period.
“Our guys were disappointed and frustrated the way that game went, and should have been,” said Price. “We didn’t push back in the right way when we should have. It began to spiral a bit… and no matter what happened the puck just seemed to find its way into the net.”
Saturday’s win contributed to the Dragons modest rise from the catacombs of the south division. As of Monday they are siting in sixth spot with a point over the Calgary Royals and only four points out of fourth place.
Price says standings at this point are not a concern.
“I assume, looking at the last 10 games, we have climbed a bit, but we are completely inwardly focused right now. We are looking at the details and how we play the game, the structure and process,” said Price.
The Dragons are starting to get the production they need from some key players. This is evident by last weeks’s hattrick and the winner from Colin Bergman in their victory over the Calgary Royals.
“He had the puck on his stick in some traffic and made a little move to create space,” said Price of Bergman’s winning goal. “He had a great quick release shot, and very small area of net to pick it, and with all that pressure and the game on the line he got it done. That’s just his style, all that kid does is win.”
“The same with Rob Geddes with the game winner against Brooks. Not much time left in the game on the powerplay. He has a tight angle look from the goal line and he just puts it in the open portion of the net. Both of those guys are just clutch.”
The Dragons are at home again this Friday night to take on the Calgary Canucks.