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Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Dragons edge out Kodiaks in shootout win

    It doesn’t get much closer.
    The Drumheller Dragons were on the road last night in Camrose to take on the Kodiaks in their den.
    Both teams fought hard and in the end it was a shootout that decided the victor. The Dragons edged out the Kodiaks for a 3-2 win, their seventh in a row.
    The first period ended in a scoreless stalemate. It was until halfway through the second period when the Kodiaks got on top with a power play goal, after the Dragons were a man down due to a high sticking penalty.
    The Dragons offense finally broke through the Kodiaks defence with 10 minutes left in the game. Colton Vanucci, off of Mitchell Gartner and Christopher Rauckman, tied the game up. Seven minutes later, Rauckman, with an assist from Ryan Aasman, gave the Dragons a 2-1 lead.
    The Kodiaks, desperate to tie the game, fought back. The Dragons defence tried to fend of the Kodiaks, but couldn’t keep them from scoring and tieing the game up with less than a minute of play left.
    The game went through a scoreless overtime period and had to be settled in a shootout.
    Dakota Zaharicuk was up first for the Dragons and snuck the puck by Kodiaks goalie Matthew Gibney. The Kodiaks retaliated with a goal of their own.
    Four shooters from the Dragons and Kodiaks were denied before Stephen Doane sent the puck in for a Dragons goal. The Kodiaks had one more chance to come back, but Adam Beukeboom stopped them cold.
    The win is the seventh in a row for the Dragons. The team is currently in fourth place in the southern division and only 3 points behind the second place Okotoks Oilers.
    The Dragons are back at home for the next few games. Tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. the boys will be taking on the Whitecourt Wolverines. The following afternoon, at 2 p.m., the Kodiaks will be in town for a rematch.

Stephen Doane (pictured here versus the Calgary Canucks earlier this month) saved he day for the Drumheller Dragons, scoring the final shootout goal for a 3-2 win over the Camrose Kodiaks. Doane is one of the Dragons top scorers, with 10 so far this season.


Dragons scorch competition

    The Drumheller Dragons are red hot right now. The team has expanded its winning streak to six games.
    The Dragons hit the road last Friday in Okotoks. The boys showed they were a team to be reckoned with, winning 4-1 in a hard hitting game.
    Bloom, unassisted, opened the scoring for the Dragons on the power play after the Oilers incurred a hooking penalty. Jamieson, with the assists going to Tanner Kissick, and Brennan Baxandall, scored the second goal of the night.
    The Oilers mustered a goal while the Dragons were shorthanded following a blow to the head penalty.
    The Dragons kept pouring on the offense and scored twice more. Vanucci, from Shayne Gwinner and Ryan Aasman, got the third goal of the night in the final minute of the second period. Hunter Mills, off of Gartner, scored the fourth goal of the night for the Dragons half way through the third.
    The Dragons continued their winning streak on Saturday when they hosted the Calgary Mustangs in front of a packed Drumheller Arena. The Dragons won 3-1.
    The momentum started early for the Dragons when Bloom, off of Baxandall, scored shorthanded after Brad Deagle was called for slashing.
    Baxandall followed up with a goal of his own minutes later, with help from Christopher Rauckman and Tyler Kerner.
    The Mustangs pushed back with a power play goal half way through the third. In the final minute of the game, down by a goal, the Mustangs pulled their goalie in a bid to tie the game up.
    Baxandall put the game out of reach for the Mustangs with an empty net goal with three seconds left in the game.
    Baxandall is having the strongest season of his AJHL career. In only 24 games played this year, Baxandall has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points.. Last season, in 51 games, he had 6 goals and 17 assists for 23 points.
    Saturday’s win gives the Dragons a six game winning streak and a record of 13-12-1. They are now in fourth place in the southern division with 27 points.
    Only a week ago, the team was sitting in last place of the southern division.
    The Dragons will be battling to continue their rise up the standings tonight on the road against the Camrose Kodiaks, who are ahead of the Dragons by 3 points in the standings.
    The Dragons will return home on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. to host the Whitecourt Wolverines. The following afternoon, at 2 p.m., the Kodiaks will come to the Dragons den.

Dragons on fire with four game winning streak

    The Drumheller Dragons showed two southern division rivals Drumheller is a place to be feared this past week.
    On Friday, the Dragons took on the Calgary Canucks at home and the following night they hosted the Olds Grizzlys and won 3-0 and 5-1, respectively.
    The Canucks returned for a rematch Wednesday night, with the Dragons winning 5-2. Wednesday’s win was the team’s fourth straight and puts the Dragons within striking distance of climbing the standings.
    “They [the players] are buying into what we’ve been teaching them and getting more confident. They understand what it will take for our team to be successful,” said Brian Curran, head coach and general manager of the Dragons.
    The game against the Canucks was one sided from the start. In the end the Dragons sent 50 shots at the Canucks net, compared to the 22 faced by Dragons goalie Brandon Stone.
    “We established the pace of play right from the start. The shots were lopsided, but a lot of them were from outside. That was our plan, to put anything at the net,” said Curran.
    Dragons captain Brennan Baxandall, with help from Ryan Aasman and Mitchell Cook, scored the first goal of the night while on the power play 13:10 into the game. Baxandall followed up with a short handed goal off of Tanner Kissik 4:31 into the second period. Stephen Doane from Joey Raats gave the Dragons their third and final goal of the night at 11:34 into the second.
    The Grizzlys came into the Dragons den the next evening and the Dragons continued on the momentum they generated over the previous two games.
    Dragons points leader Brodie Jamieson from Mitchell Gartner opened the scoring for the night 2:59 into the game while on the power play.  Before the end of the first period, Christopher Rauckman, off of Brad Deagle, increased the Dragons lead to 2-0.
    The Grizzlys snuck the puck by Dragons goalie Adam Beukeboom half way through the second, but the Dragons retaliated soon after with another power play goal from Baxandall, with help from Gartner. Gartner, off of Baxandall, followed up with another power play goal 0:39 into the third. The Dragons didn’t relent and Stephen Doane, from Tyler Kerner, gave the Dragons their fifth goal of the night.
    Baxandall was named the home star for the night. Over the past two games, he’s racked up three goals and one assist. He’s on track to surpass his point totals from last year.
    “I think what he’s found with Brad Deagle, Mitchell Gartner, and Ryan Aasman back on defence, he’s picking time and places to go. He’s played very well. He doesn’t give up. If he continues, good things are going to happen for him,” said Curran.
    On Wednesday night, the Canucks returned for a rematch. The Dragons got off to a sluggish start and gave up two goals  in only seven minutes of play. Afterwards, the team came back with a vengeance.
    Ryan Bloom, off a pass from Dakota Zaharichuk, got the Dragons fired up with a short handed goal nine minutes into the first. Before the period was out, Colton Vanucci and Mitchell Gartner followed up with two more goals to give the Dragons the lead.
    The Dragons kept pouring shots at the Canucks net over the next two periods. Tyler Kerner and Brodie Jamieson got two more goals before the game was done.
    The Dragons special teams are a big part of the Dragons success as is goaltending. The team is currently second in the league for power play goals and in the past three games, the team has only allowed two goals.
    The Dragons have also had quite a few players return from the injury list.
    “We were able to get our injured players back. We were playing with a very young lineup and when you add our veterans back in the lineup, that’s helped the confidence of our young players,” said Curran.
    The Dragons will be back on home ice on Saturday when they host the    Calgary Mustangs. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
    “I was happy with the boys, they competed very hard. I believe it’s been a good start for our last three games,” said Curran. “Last week was a good chance for us to get back in the race and I think we’ve put ourselves in a position to do that.”


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