Drumheller Dragons | DrumhellerMail - Page #57
Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2024 3pm

Dragon commits to University of Alaska Fairbanks

    The Drumheller Dragons would like to congratulate Davin Stener on his recent verbal commitment to the University of Alaska Fairbanks for the 2013-14 season.
    Stener, a 1994-born, 5’10”, 170 pound left defenseman from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, is beginning his second season with the Dragons.
    “I’m grateful for the opportunity,” comments Stener. “I was very impressed with Coach Ferguson and his philosophy on the game and personal growth. They value the same things at Fairbanks as we do in Drumheller. I think it will be a great fit and a tremendous experience in the future.”
    Last season, as a 16-year old, he tallied 2 goals and 19 assists for 21 points, along with 89 penalty minutes, in 56 games played for Drumheller. Prior to joining the Dragons, Stener played as a 15-year old for the Fort Saskatchewan Midget AAA Rangers in the AMHL, and that same season competed in the 2009 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, where he was instrumental in Team Alberta’s Gold Medal effort.
    Davin was also a member of Hockey Alberta’s 31 Player Short List during the Team Pacific selection process for the 2010-11 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
    With his commitment to UAF, Stener joins current and former Dragons teammates, Sam Lawson (2012-13) and Justin Tateson (2011-12), as well as Dragons alumni Brandon and Dion Knelsen, as players who have moved from the Drumheller program to the NCAA Division I Nanooks.
    Dragons’ Assistant Coach and Assistant Director of Player Development, David Ferrari, adds, “We’re very proud of Davin and the hard work he’s put in. He’s very deserving of this opportunity. We feel his personal and athletic growth will continue to be exponential throughout his career both in Drumheller and at UAF.”

Dragons battle heavy September schedule

    The Dragons knew it was going to be a tough September when the schedule came out, but there is hope it will make them stronger as the season progresses.
    The Dragons have played only two home league games this September, and will not be back on the ice in Drumheller Memorial arena for another week and a half.
    “It is difficult because you are travelling and playing so much, but it ends up a huge positive for the team because you learn how to play on the road, and you have a little bigger roster in September,” said head coach Dan Price. “Hopefully when we get into October and we’re home, we are healthier and fresher and some of these close games will start going in our favour because we have a little extra gas.”
    The Dragons were one for three last week, after successfully closing out the Calgary Canucks 2-1 on Tuesday, but falling to the Olds Grizzlys in a close 4-3 loss on Thursday. On Saturday they were in Brooks and lost 4-0.
    In Calgary Tuesday, the game remained scoreless through two periods. The Canucks drew first blood, the Dragons responded a couple shifts later as Giovanni Bombini scored his first goal as a Dragon. Less than 30 seconds later Doug Jones scored the winner.
    “It was a great response by our guys, it was a demonstration of skill and that habitability, being able to play and respond at big times, and then holding on to get a penalty kill done at the end of the game and get the win,” said Price.
    Again, he was impressed by the response of his team versus Olds. The teams were tied after the first with Keith Csizmadia and Trevor Tracy scoring for the Dragons. Olds took the lead in the second, but the Dragons responded with a goal from Kevin McMillan on the power play. The Dragons’ division rival scored at the 11th minute of the third period to take the win.
    “A really important characteristic of the team, which I am happy to see, is that we responded well. If we scored, we would have a really good shift. If we got scored on, we had another really good shift,” said Price.
    Three games last week on the road wore on the Dragons as they headed to Brooks on Saturday. The Dragons matched the Bandits with shots and puck control in the first, but they ran out of steam. The Bandits scored twice in the second period, and twice in the third to win.
    “The guys kept competing, it was good from that sense, but Brooks won the special teams battle and that was key to the game,” said Price
    The Dragons still have a busy week. They are on the road to Sherwood Park this Wednesday, and then off to the Showcase Weekend in Spruce Grove to face the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Friday and then the Grande Prairie Storm on Saturday.
    The Dragons are back in the Drumheller Memorial Arena on Saturday, October 8 to face Sherwood Park.

Dragons work towards better puck control

    While the Dragons have only managed one win as of Monday, they have been in the hunt and have showed resolve. It is just a matter of limiting mistakes and protecting the puck.
    The Dragons won their season opener against Lloydminster on the road, and fought back against the Calgary Mustangs to force overtime, before they were taken 5-4. Their home opener against Spruce Grove saw the team get better as the game went on, but again they fell in overtime. Last Sunday the Brooks Bandits had their number winning 7-1.
    “It has mostly been a product of turnovers. Even in the Spruce Grove game, they outshot us, but it wasn’t a situation where we never had the puck. We held the puck, and for whatever reason it ended up on a Spruce Grove stick,” said Coach Dan Price. “Once we sorted that out, it was a very evenly played balanced game.”
    Against Spruce Grove, the Dragons scored first, but found themselves down 2-1 in the second period. They were able to tie the game and hold the Saints through the third. They had a great chance to win in overtime, but were not able to put it in the net.
    This was similar to the day before in Calgary versus the Mustangs. This time the Dragons were down 4-1, but we able to score one in the second and two in the third period to force overtime.
    “Those are all good signs, that the guys continue to compete, go through the process and learn,” said Price.
    Against Brooks last Sunday, Price said special teams were a factor.  The Dragons started strong and were outshooting the Bandits early, however they had trouble getting in sync on the powerplay.
    “They put us on our heels, and on those powerplays we didn’t move the puck as well as we normally do, both on breakout and entry, and also in zones. The result was the puck getting sent back into our end, and that was frustrating and tiring,” said Price. “All of a sudden Brooks came back and scored themselves, and were feeling really good. We had a really good chance to take control of that game, and we had a really good chance to do that on the powerplay and unfortunately it didn’t click.”
    One standout is goalie James D’Andrea who has faced 159 shots in the first four games.
    “The scores have not been reflective of James’ play, he’s played great,” said Price. “He has been getting a lot of work in the first few games so we needed to minimize the shots again. I am very certain had we done a better job managing the puck, our shot totals would have been cut in half.”
    The Dragons were in Calgary to take on the Canucks on Tuesday (results not available at press time). The team will not be back in the Drumheller Memorial Arena until Friday, September 30 to play the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.

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