Dragons silenced by Olds Grizzlys, lose playoff series three games to two | DrumhellerMail
Last updateThu, 29 Feb 2024 12pm

Dragons silenced by Olds Grizzlys, lose playoff series three games to two

dragons.jpgMaking it to the final game of the series, the Dragons were beat out in round one of the AJHL play-offs on Friday in their series against Olds. Battling until the fifth and final game of the series, the Dragons lost 5-2 to the Grizzlys, after fighting for an overtime win to tie it up two nights before. Dragon Ashton Reinboldt opened up the scoring late in the first, after being fed a pass from Robbie Nocera. Olds replied with two goals, the lone goal in the second. Olds took a steady lead in the third, until Jeff Young scored on a powerplay chance in the middle of the third. This was the last of Dragons scoring, as Olds fired one through Braden Gamble and finally dumping one into an empty net with under a minute left.
The Dragons were expecting to make it deep into the playoff games, but ice time will end early for the team.
Coach Rob Hegberg said the team played solid for the two  wins the Dragons picked up in the series, but inconsistency was what held the team back.
“Our inconsistency showed when we weren’t able to capitalize on those opportunities and generate any offence.
“In the end, that inconsistent play cost us our whole season,” Hegberg said, while adding the  team has been plagued with discipline, planning and scoring problems all season.
Looking towards the next year, the Dragons will be starting with a much younger team as the older talent finished their AJHL career on Friday night.
Drumheller will be losing quite of few key players heading into their camp in August, but coach Hegberg feels it is almost a necessity to start with young players.
“We have guys who have been around for many years, we need a new facelift in here, and some new ideas,” he said.
“We have a lot of speedy skill guys recruited already, but we need to go out and find some guys with size,” Hegberg said, while mentioning captain Trent Colberg and Justin Faryna will be “impossible” to replace physically.
“It was a season we went into with high hopes, and they were unjustified. Not to say we didn’t have highs and lows... it’s just that inconsistency that started to come into play,” the coach said.
Although it is too soon to be judging next season, Hegberg is hopeful young players will bring much-needed excitement into the dressing room.
“The year coming up will hopefully bring more focus, we’ll have young guys are just cracking into the league. I think we’ll have that energetic focus that we lacked this season,” Hegberg said.
The Dragons have spring camp coming up April 10, 11, and 12, with hockey school in late July.
The Drumheller Dragons are hosting their awards banquet on Wednesday, March 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the Drumheller Inn.

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