Dragons step it up in the New Year | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 12 Apr 2024 11am

Dragons step it up in the New Year


Casey Fratkin fights off a defender versus Canmore last Wednesday, January 6. The Dragons are 4-0 for 2010, and are playing the Olds Grizzlies tonight.
mailphoto by Lisa Clarke

    It took a new year, a couple changes and just four games, and the Dragons are back in the hunt for a playoff berth.
    The Dragons started the New Year with four wins in a row, most recently capping it with an 11-4 victory over the Drayton Valley Thunder on Sunday, January 10 afternoon, .
    “Our focus in the dressing room is still on the process. To keep it rocking and try to get that pendulum to swing more consistently to the positive side,” said coach Dan Price. “Our guys have been doing a great job. They have been extremely focused, extremely tenacious and extremely supportive of each other. They are moving the puck well, doing things right and doing difficult things like blocking shots and going to the net. That is still our focus, doing things right very well.”

    The Dragons’ streak began on the road on January 4 versus the Calgary Canucks. The Dragons out shot the Canucks 28-28 on their way to victory. Evan Warner scored on the powerplay in the first period, and Jason Kenney scored the winner 2:50 into the third period.
    The momentum continued on Wednesday, January 6 as the Dragons played the Lloydminster Bobcats at home. The Bobcats opened the scoring in the first period, but in the second, the Dragons notched two on the powerplay from Sam Lawson and Mike Marianchuk to take the lead.
    On Saturday, January 9 the team’s home stand continued as they took on the Canmore Eagles. Colin Bergman and Marianchuk each scored to put the Dragons up 2-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game. Canmore tied it up but with a second left in the first period, Marianchuk put the Dragons back on top 3-2.
    The Eagles tied it early in the second period, but Bergman scored his second of the night to lead going into the third period. Doug Jessey put it out of reach in the third period.
    As exciting this game was, fans were in for a offensive flurry on Sunday afternoon.
    “The biggest thing in that game was our response to adversity. Drayton Valley scored 25 seconds into the game,” said Price. “We reset mentally and answered. It seemed like every time they scored, our guys stuck to the process. We really felt like if we played the game the right way we would eventually get the lead and hold onto the lead.”
He said as Drayton Valley began to press, it opened up opportunities for the Dragons.
    In the end the Dragons were three - for- seven on the powerplay with a balanced offensive effort with goals from Marianchuk, Kennedy, Justin Tateson, Warner, Dillon Houghton, Doug Jones and Sam Lawson.
    Marcus Toye had two, as did new addition Pat Turville, who until this week, was playing a fill-in roll.
    “He has been playing Junior B for the Mountianview Colts this season and he has been joining us from time to time as an affiliate call-up. He is the exact definition of a Dragon. He is very intelligent and he is a really good person, lots of character. He is obviously a very good player and he is extremely competitive. We have asked him to stay with us the rest of the season and have signed him to a Hockey Canada Card. He’ll be a Dragon full time going forward,” said Price.
    There have been a few more changes. Justin Morello’s wish has been granted. He has been dealt from the Dragons to the St. Albert Steel for Nick Scott. Scott is a 1990 born left defenseman from Adrossan. Price says he is a versatile player and a solid two-way guy.
    “From everything we have been told he is a great kid, so he’ll help us on the back end,” said Price.
    Corey Tyrell is off to the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in exchange for Derek Ginnell and future considerations.
    “Ginnell is a 1991-born forward from Medicine Hat,” said Price. “We’ve been after Derek for quite some time, and we were able to get him before the deadline.”
    He played midget hockey with current Dragons Justin Tateson. Price says this helps make the transition to becoming a Dragon smoother.   
    “We have an unbelievably tight group in there. If you can’t fit into this dressing room you can’t fit in anywhere, this is a very good group of guys,” said Price.
    The Dragons are in action tonight versus the Olds Grizzlies at home. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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