Dragons show heart against Canada's best | DrumhellerMail
Last updateThu, 29 Feb 2024 12pm

Dragons show heart against Canada's best

dragons.jpg    The Dragons showed their heart and resolve taking the number one team in the country to the wire last Friday, December 13.
    The Dragons hosted the Spruce Grove Saints at the Memorial Arena, and while the Dragons had a slow start, they never stopped chipping away at the top team in the league, and Canada.
    “We knew what we were up against coming in, and prepared the guys the best we could, I just don’t think we had the start we wanted,” said coach Jason Hegberg.
    The Saints have earned their ranking, and part of that is a powerplay that is firing at over a 30 percent average. Two poorly timed penalties allowed the Saints to capitalize early in the first period. The Dragons had a break as John Bolka beat the Saints’ goalie one on one. Spruce grove lead 3-1 after one, out shooting the Dragons 10-2.
In the second, Graham Klassen scored after only 30 seconds on the ice, the Saints shot back however with two more goals, including one more powerplay point, but Justin Faryna found the net with 30 seconds left, Saints 5, Dragons 3.
    The Dragons continued the pressure, out shooting the Saints 19-14 in the final two periods, and Doug Jessey scored his third of the season to narrow the lead to 5-4. The Dragons continued the pressure, but a Saints’ empty net goal with 41 seconds left, sealed the team’s fate.
    “I think our biggest goal of the night was to be disciplined, and we took a couple penalties we didn’t want to take, and gave them opportunities,” said Hegberg. “When we are not on our games, the small mistakes we make, end up in our net. That is what really good teams do, capitalize on opportunities.”
    “It was a good test for us, and I thought we showed a lot of character fighting back. We didn’t give up by any means,” said Hegberg.
    The Dragons had a new product on the ice. 19 year old, 6’0” 215 pound Todd Chinova a Connecticut native has spent the last four seasons in the QMJHL. He only arrived in Drumheller late Thursday night, and despite this Hegberg says they saw some good potential.
    “He’s a big kid and very solid on his skates. Hopefully he’ll be a physical presence,” said Hegberg.
     The Dragons close loss follows on the heels of a four game winning streak. The most recent was Wednesday, December 10 against the Camrose Kodiaks.
    Bolka and Klassen each scored respectively in the first period, putting the Dragons up 2-0. Out of 40 shots, the Kodiaks only beat Dragons’ goalie Garret Sheehan once in the second period. Trevor Smyth ended a 16 game goalless streak in the third, as the Dragons won 3-1.
    Coach Hegberg is hoping for a strong finish to the year. The Dragons are at home against the Bonnyville Pontiacs this Tuesday, December 16, and then in Olds on Friday, December 19 to end 2008.
    “It’s a big game Tuesday night against Bonnyville (results not available at press time). We kind of owe them from last year,” said Hegberg. “We’re going to take it a game at a time, but we want to win these next two and go into the break two games over .500.”

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