Drumheller Dragons | DrumhellerMail - Page #15
Last updateWed, 01 Jul 2020 12pm

Dragons win home opener


The Dragons earned their first win of the season, and they did it on home ice.
The Dragons celebrated their home opener on Friday, September 23, taking on the Calgary Mustangs.
After outshooting the Mustangs 14-3 in a scoreless first period, Bradley Stonnell found the net 3:42 into the second. Just 14 seconds later Blake Kleiner put the Dragon up by 2. The Mustangs answered back, but Leif Mattson put the Dragons up 3-1. A minute later Jordan Taupert also found the net. The Mustangs scored one more to end the period, but it was too little too late as the Drumheller won 4-2.
The Dragons are back on home ice Saturday night to play the Whitecourt Wolverines.

Dragons split preseason series with Lloydminster

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About 400 fans were able to see the 2016-2017 edition of the Drumheller Dragons and saw some bright spots.

The Dragons wrapped up the exhibition season last Friday night at the Drumheller Memorial Arena. The night before they were in Lloydminster where they beat the Bobcats 3-1.  Both teams returned for the rematch, and Drumheller looked strong out of the gate. The Dragons outshot the Bobcats 14-2 in the first period, and went up 2-0 with goals from Brayden Nicholetts on the power play, and then Tyler Oakenfold.

        “In the first 35 minutes there is not much we can say negative about our team,” said head coach Brian Curran. “We did a lot of good things, I think our d-zone was good, our transitional good, our neutral zone as good, we were playing physical and we competed really hard.”

It didn’t take long for the Bobcats to get back in it, ending the second period tied at two, and then scoring the winner in the third.

        “Their goalie kept them in the game, and then we had a breakdown. I felt the momentum changed, instead of playing as a team we played more like individuals after scored the second goal on the power play,” said Curran. “We lost our composure.”

        “Did we work hard? Extremely hard. For the first 35 minutes we worked as a team, for the last 25, we worked as individuals.”

        Despite the loss, there were many positives for the young Dragons.

        ‘”I felt we controlled a lot of the play in both games, but we leaned a lot. We made some young mistakes and I am glad they are happening now. There is no question we are the youngest team in the league and I think if we can push it and grow together as team, we will just get better and better,” said Curran,

        The focus for Curran has to be hard work.

“They are a hard working team,” he said. “The effort is going to be there every night. We won’t have players who are not going to compete. If they are not competing, they are going to put themselves in the stands, and they have been made well aware of that.”

While he doesn’t demand perfection, he demands progress.

        “We know this is a work in progress… but as long as we are growing all years teams will know what to expect from us.”

The Dragons kick off the regular season on Friday, September 16 in Camrose. Their home opener is Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the game there is a tailgate party at the BCF with food, games, prizes and face painting. That action kicks off at 5 p.m.

Dragons Make Moves before Regular Season Gets Underway


The Drumheller Dragons have traded '97-born goaltender Xavier Burghardt to the Kindersley Klippers of the SJHL in exchange for '97 forward Mitch Scott and '97 defenceman Austin Wong.

Mitch Scott, who played last season for the Calgary Canucks, brings a veteran presence who works hard and has strong offensive abilities. In 45 games he tallied 4 goals and 15 assists in the 2015-16 season.

At 6'3" tall, Austin Wong is a big, shut-down type defenseman and a strong skater who will help out on the Dragons' back end. Last year with the Klippers, he tallied 5 assists in 41 games.

"It was tough to let Xavier go as he's a great kid and well-liked in the locker room," said Dragons head coach and GM, Brian Curran. "However, I felt that with the direction we are going there were other concerns that came into play. We are a young team and I felt we need some key veteran players to help with this group. I'm happy that we were able to get Austin and Mitch as both are the right players for this team and will lead by example. I wish Xavier all the best."

With Burghardt gone, the Dragons have brought in '99-born goaltender Dane Dow who played Midget AAA in Lloydminster last season, where he posted 1.84 GAA and .920 save percentage. Dow played in the Telus Cup last season as well as for U-18 Team Alberta.

"We have two goalies [Virostek and Dow] who are very competitive and who last season played against each other in the Alberta Midget AAA finals," said Curran. "I believe these two players will push each other and will be very strong goalies for years to come."

You can catch the Dragons in action Friday, September 9 at the Memorial Arena as they take on the Lloydminster Bobcats in their first home exhibition contest. Game time is 7:30pm and tickets are $5 at the door (season ticket holders are free).

The Dragons regular season home opener is Friday, September 23, which will be preceded by a Tailgate Party in the BCF parking lot.

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