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Last updateFri, 15 Feb 2019 11am

Dragons battle for two home wins

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    The Dragons had a winning weekend at home, with strong victories over Lloydminster and then the Bonnyville Pontiacs.
    The Lloydminster Bobcats were in Drumheller Friday, November 24 to take on the Dragons in front of 468 fans.         It was a tough physical game and the Dragons jumped out by two goals; the first by Tyler Kreklewich seven minutes in, and then Brett Edwards seven minutes later. The Bobcats scored one to end the period 2-1. Brady Risk put the Dragons up 3-1 in the second period with four minutes remaining.
        In the third period, Edwards scored his second goal on the powerplay at the 10:52 mark. Lloydminster scored once more before Kaden Hanas sealed the score 5-2 with 45 seconds left.
    “There were two physical teams going head to head, and we don’t back down from a battle on a normal day,” said coach Kevin Hasselberg. “I don’t think it was dirty or inappropriate play, I just thought it was hard. It was good Canadian hockey.”
    “We aren’t the biggest team, but our guys played big. I think they backed each other and held each other accountable with that part of our identity.”
    On Saturday night, the Dragons hosted the Bonnyville Pontiacs. Just 3:05 minutes in Slater Dykema opened the scoring on the powerplay, and then Jordan Taupert put them up 2 to end the first period.
    The Dragons outshot the Pontiacs 15-10 in the second period, however, it was the Pontiacs who scored to end the period 2-1.
    It was a back and forth game through the third period, but the Dragons held them off for the win.  Hasselberg was impressed with the goaltending.
     “I thought both goaltenders made highlight reel saves in that hockey game. When we put the pressure on Silvestre (Pontiac’s goalie), he was able to keep them in the game, and when they came down to our end with a scoring chance. Dane was there to match him save for save, so definitely a good display of goaltending.”
    The Dragons open December, this Friday, December 1 at home versus the Calgary Mustangs and then next Tuesday, December 5 host the Calgary Canucks.


Three Dragons invited to try out for World Junior A Challenge team

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    After a few years of being overlooked, three Drumheller Dragons have a chance to represent their country at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.

    On Monday afternoon, Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League selected 60 players to attend the Team Canada West selection camp. Of the 15 players from the AJHL invited, three are from the Drumheller Dragons.                     They will be joined by their coach Kevin Hasselberg, who was selected as a guest coach.
 “It’s an opportunity to help a team that is a reflection of your country and of your league”, said Hasselberg. “It is pretty hard not to get involved in that. It is an honour and certainly an opportunity for me to get better working with some incredible coaches.”
    Invited to the tryouts are 19-year-old goalie Hunter Virostek, 18-year-old forward Markus Boguslavsky and 19-year-old forward Jordan Taupert.
    Virostek has been having a great season, playing in 20 games with a 12-8 record and a 0.905 save per cent.
    Boguslavsky has 13 goals and eight assists in 24 games.
    “Markus is up and coming as well. He is only a 1999-born player, but he plays much like he has been in the league two or three years and that is what has brought attention to him. He has been successful around the net and plays to his strengths,” said Hasselberg.
    Taupert is in fourth place in the league in points, tallying 32 in 25 games, 13 of which are from goals.
    “He has been one of the top scorers in the league. And that is even harder as a 19-year-old because they can only keep three in total on that whole roster, so you don’t want to invest a lot of time watching a bunch of 19-year-olds when you can only carry three,” said Hasselberg. “For him to get identified and brought into that picture is more special.”   
     The list of 60 will be in Calgary from December 2-5 for the selection camp. The players trying out would only miss one game for the selection camp.     If they are successful and make the West team, they will be playing for a portion of December.
     The World Junior A Challenge will be played in Atlantic Canada. Team West will open the tournament against the Czech Republic on December 10.

Dragons face tough opponents on road

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    The Drumheller Dragons had a challenging week on the road, but still managed to bring home one win.
    The Dragons’ trip to face northern teams began on Friday, October 20 with the Drayton Valley Thunder.
    After a scoreless first period, Braydon Nicholetts scored his second of the season just a minute into the second period.  The Thunder tied up the game until Nicholetts scored his third of the year to put the Dragons up 2-1 after two.
    Tyson Scott scored on the powerplay and the Kaden Hanas scored on the empty net as the Dragons won 4-1.
    On Saturday night, the team was in Grande Prairie to play the Storm. Again, the first period was scoreless, but then Nicholas Sutter scored on the powerplay midway through the second to put the Dragons up 1-0.
    The Storm dominated the third period with two powerplay goals and then an empty netter to win 3-1.
    The Dragons finished their trip Sunday afternoon taking on the Whitecourt Wolverines, the second place team in the Viterra AJHL North.
    This time The Wolverines opened the scoring and after two periods were up 3-0. Joren Patenaude scored in the third to put the Dragons on the scoreboard. This was followed about a minute later when Tyler Kreklewich found the net to make the score 3-2. Whitecourt put it out of reach with seven minutes left, to make it a 4-2 final.
    This drops the Dragons to third place in the south a just behind the Brooks Bandits. The two teams will meet this Friday, October 27 at the Drumheller Memorial Arena.


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