Drumheller Dragons | DrumhellerMail - Page #17
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Last updateSun, 19 Jan 2020 11am

Dragons celebrate season at year end banquet

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    The Drumheller Dragons closed out the 2015-2016 season Friday evening (March 18) handing out the hardware at their annual awards banquet.
    The evening began with the Volunteer of the Year award presented by Jason Blanke. The award was presented to Mitchell Pennington who has been volunteering with the Dragons for a few years working at the season ticket holder table.
    Ava Harrington presented the second award of the evening. Harrington is a member of the Chinook Financial Junior Dragons fan club and presented the Chinook Financial junior Dragons Favourite Player award to goaltender Jonny Hogue.
    Next, Assistant Coach Gavin Holcomb presented the community involvement award to team captain Connor Duncan. Dave Wood presented the Academic Achievement award next, to Dragons forward Connor Boyd.
    Joe Faubion presented the Faubion Family Unsung Hero award to Dragons forward Braedan Salverda.
    Dragons head coach and general manager Brian Curran presented the next set of awards. Boyd received the Hardest Working Player. The Most Improved Player award went to Andrew Kartusch. The Rookie of the Year award went to Levi Wunder. The Top Defenseman award was presented to Isaac Schacher. The Top Scorer award went to Wunder. The Top Playoff Performer award was received by Salverda and the Most Valuable Player award went to Jacob Schofield.
    Marty Weymark presented the Jeff Hendricks Memorial Scholarship Award to Boyd.
    “It is such an honor to be chosen as the recipient of the Jeff Hendricks Memorial Scholarship,” Boyd told The Mail.
    “The award means a lot to me because it is for something that I have always prided myself on. I have always played with all my heart and putting everything I have into every shift, so to be honored with this award for doing just that, has left me very humbled.”
    Boyd, who had 11 goals, 12 assists for 23 points in 60 games, said he was “happy with the way my season went.”
    “I felt I was able to play at a high level all season long and into the playoffs. I enjoyed being a shutdown player that could be trusted against other teams top lines,” he said.
    “I was able to attain a lot of my success and confidence from my line mates Scott Ivey and Keaton Holinaty. I absolutely loved playing with the two of them and I think we had a chemistry that doesn’t come around too often,” he added.


Drumheller Dragons head into post season

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    They are as ready as they will ever be this season as the Dragon begin the first round of playoffs this Thursday in Canmore.
    The team, plagued with late injuries, put together a strong finish to the regular season, stringing together five straight wins, and then a close overtime loss to Camrose Saturday night. Coach Brian Curran says anything can happen in the playoffs.
    “It should be a pretty even series, both teams have had good times and both have struggled at times,” he said.
    While there are still a few spots on their roster, which will remain empty, he likes how the team is playing.
    “We’ve lost two players who are pretty well done for the year, so that doesn’t help us at all, but we are so used to not having our full line-up, at the end of the day we have what we have, and in the last six games I like how we played.”
    Heading into the post season, he likes to keep routines and practices the same.
    “You want to work on specific things that might work best against the team. If we make the right decisions, we’re good, but if we make the wrong ones, we adjust,” he said. “Everything is about tweaking things.  You want to go in with the basic foundations you have had for most of the year so you don’t get the guys thinking too much. You want to keep it as normal as you can.”
    He does have some areas of focus.
    “We know we have to get better on our penalty kill, we think our power play is okay, but needs some work, so we are going to work on it all week. There is not much more than the coaches putting together the best match –ups and getting them ready to play.”
    “Playoffs have been notoriously about who are the teams that are hot going in, who is healthy, who is playing well, and then it comes down to who wants it the most,” said Curran.
    Games one and two are on Thursday and Friday night in Canmore. On Sunday, the Dragons will host the Eagles at 4 p.m.

Contenti’s Drumheller Dragons Billets are family

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    Joanne and Nick Contenti are great examples of how billeting Dragon players, changed their lives for the better.  
    Joanne spoke to inSide Drumheller, “We started billeting in 2009 and were pretty nervous. We previously lived in three AJHL towns, Brooks, Olds, and Drumheller. In each town, we were fans of the home team.”
    Joanne explained, “In Olds we started getting more involved,  Nick joined the Board of Directors and I was manning the 50/50 booth, but we never wanted to billet. I just didn’t think I would have the time to cook them meals. We moved to Drumheller in 2008 and were asked several times to billet and we kept saying no. Finally in 2009 we said we would give it a try. Evan Warner moved into our house, and we have never looked back.”
    Joanne continued, “We have met some amazing young men. Young men who are disciplined and focused and so very polite. These young men have lived a dream of playing hockey at the “next” level since they first put skates on. We have found that providing meals, while of course is required, is the smallest part of what a billet provides.”
    Joanne further explained, “What you are really giving is a home, a family, a safe place for them to be, while they continue perusing their dream. Someone who is present to celebrate success and encourage them past challenges. Each and every one of these boys has walked through the door and into our hearts and we have enjoyed every moment. We have met their families who are so thankful to know their boys are being cared for.”
     In 2011 we had Simon Horlick come to live with us for about six weeks. The next year, the Contenti’s had said they would only take one billet but then Horlick sent Joanne an email saying he was coming for tryouts and could he please stay with them again.
The Contenti’s couldn’t say no. “He showed up for the start of the year with a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers!! Seriously, these boys will melt your heart.” said Joanne.
    The Contenti’s billets this year are from Michigan, Evan Rochowiak and Levi Wunder, and Joanne explained that it has been fun watching them experience chinooks, northern lights, and of course the unique beauty of our valley. The players are proud of where they are from and have shared pictures and stories of home as well.
    Earlier this year, some of the boy’s families came up. The Contenti’s met Wunder’s Mom and Aunt and Evan Warner’s Mom and Grandma. They toured the valley and had lunch at Wayne. Joanne shares this story. “Somehow the conversation turned to pickles. Nick talked about the mustard pickle his Mom used to make and how much he missed it. Two weeks later we received a package from Warner’s Grandma in Florida with two jars of mustard pickles, just like Nick’s Mom used to make!”
    Joanne and Nick expressed, “We have included these boys in all our family events,while they are around, and we still keep in touch with some of them. Hockey has always been a part of our lives growing up and with our own children so we love being at the rink. Billeting  gives you a winter son  to cheer for, and leaves a warm feeling in your heart.”


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