Drumheller Dragons | DrumhellerMail - Page #8
Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 4pm

Dragons end challenging season on high note

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    In a season filled with trials, the Dragons were able to push the Calgary Canucks to five games, and despite a bowing out in the first round of the playoffs, the season ended on a high note.
    The 2017 season came to an end for the Dragons last Wednesday night, March 15 at the Max Bell Arena. The Canucks led by one after the first period.  And then four minutes into the second period, Calgary scored their second. Drumheller continued to outshoot the Canucks, however it took until the last two and half minutes of the second period before the Dragons got on the scoreboard as Cody Young scored on the power play.
    Calgary scored four minutes into the third period but three minutes later Tyler Kreklewich scored his tenth of the season. That was as close as the Dragons would get as Calgary would score two more to win 5-2.
    By Friday the Dragons were wrapping up exit interviews and fitness testing. Coach Darryl Olsen is sending off a group of players that were tested physically and mentally through a season of turmoil.
    “There were so many ups and downs throughout this season. When I took over the team, talk about a trying season, I had nine of my regular players in the stands and we went 12 games without a full roster,” he said. “The whole time I was coaching, I didn’t have a full line-up.”
    By playoff season the Dragons had 20 dressed and a full week of practice. He was impressed with how the players reacted.
    “We all just gelled together and the boys really worked hard with the systems I was implementing,” he said. Only part of the challenge was on the ice.
    “After coach Curran got fired, it was just getting them back on the positive side of life and getting them excited about being a Drumheller Dragon again,” he said. “By taking the Canucks all the way to Game 5, those boys are excited and want to come back and be Dragon, which is awesome.”
    “I am very proud of what I did in the short period of time we had. We brought an exciting brand of hockey back to Drumheller,” he said. “And talk about being the youngest team in the league? These kids had to grow up fast.”
    He adds that with how this group of young players is developing, he believes they could be an RBC Cup contender.
    Spring camp is just around the corner for the Dragons, beginning on March 31 in Drumheller. They will also be heading north to Fort Saskatchewan for another spring camp.

Dragons hoping for healthy post season

The Dragons are hoping to heal up this week to be a force to be reckoned come the playoffs.
    The Dragons have been limping towards the postseason and after last weekend they are on an eight-game skid. They have one more regular season game versus Olds before playoffs this coming Saturday, and Coach Darryl Olsen hopes they can use the time to heal and refocus.
    “This is coming at a perfect time for us, we are still not 100 per cent healthy,” said Coach Olsen. “Last week we had one practice where we actually had 20 guys. So this week will be good, we can get back to the drawing board and start putting our systems back together.”
    Last weekend was a tough one for the squad. On Friday, February 24, the team was in Okotoks to take on the Oilers. Okotoks jumped out to a two-goal lead before Jordan Evans scored for the Dragons on the power play with a minute left in the first period.  
Joren Patenaude tied it up at the 6:16 mark of the second period. Just three minutes later Okotoks scored the winner.
    On Saturday, Okotoks came to Drumheller for the home and away series. This time the Dragons jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Clay Keeley and then Tyler Kreklewich. The Oilers tied it up in the second period and then went ahead 6-2 in the third period. Andrew Kartusch made it 6-3 to end the game.
    “The first two periods were really good, and then we just kind fell into some penalty trouble and then the wheels just fell off. Those first two periods is the kind of hockey we are going to play when we get everybody back, high energy, lots of puck movement, lots of shots.”
    He is looking forward to a healthy playoff series. Their opponent is yet to be determined. Before then, they have one more game versus the Olds Grizzlys on the road this Saturday.
    “We have this week, and then a few days before the first playoff game. We are looking forward to all of these guys getting back together. There is nothing like being on the ice together in practice as one cohesive unit.”

Dragons form management committee

Dragons management

The Drumheller Dragons are proud to announce that team ownership has formed a Management Committee to formally govern the organization.

The Management Committee consists of team ownership and community stakeholders, and is intended to guide business operations and hockey operations.

“The idea is that with all the resources and knowledge of the collective group, we can better support and guide the organization to achieve its goals both on and off the ice,” said Blair Christianson, team owner.

“We really want Drumheller to be the place that young players want to come play,” said Rod Knelsen, team owner. “We want to be seen as the premiere team to play for in the AJHL in the way we develop our players, the level of fan support we receive, and the amount of interest in our players from college and university teams. Obviously we think we have a great organization already but there is always work to be done to improve, and we hope this Committee will help guide us there.”

Members of the Management Committee are:

  • Blair Christianson
  • Rod Knelsen
  • Corrine Collett
  • Amanda Stahl
  • Joe Castonguay
  • Jeff Paarup
  • Doug Lubinski
Missing from photo: Blair Christianson, Rod Knelsen

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