Drumheller Dragons | DrumhellerMail - Page #22
Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Dragons break three game losing streak

    The Drumheller Dragons are regaining some momentum, breaking a three game losing streak on Tuesday against the Olds Grizzlys.
    Though the Dragons appeared to be in control of the game, the Grizzlys were with them goal for goal. The game had to be settled in overtime, where the Dragons came away with a 4-3 win.
    The Dragons took control of the game early, in no small part to an interference penalty by Grizzly Ty Mappin a mere 46 seconds in. Mitchell Cook, taking advantage of the powerplay, rushed to the Grizzlys end, through their defence, and rocketed the puck past goalie Ethan Jemieff.

Dallas Smith (left) and Rory Davidson were denied on a big two-on-one opportunity. The Dragons kept up the pressure against the Olds Grizzlys on Tuesday night, but had trouble getting the puck past Grizzlys goalie Ethan Jemieff. The Dragons eventually settled the game with a 4-3 win in overtime.

    Powerplays would end up being the key for the remainder of the night. Of the seven goals scored by both teams, five were during a powerplay.
    The Dragons remained in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game, but Jemieff proved to be a hard nut to crack. In total, the Dragons sent a flurry of 40 shots at him, but Jemieff was able to stop most and reign in any rebound opportunities.
    A closing hand on puck penalty levied against Troy Gedny cost the Dragons the lead and the game was tied at 1-1 before the first period was over.
    The second period remained locked at 1-1.
    In the opening minute of the third, Dakotra Zaharichuk put the Dragons up 2-1, but the Grizzlys responded with a goal of their own after Gedny was sent to the penalty box for kneeing.
    A tripping penalty by the Grizzlys a few minutes later gave the Dragons the edge they needed. Newcomer Tyler Haiste put the Dragons up 3-2.
    From there, the Dragons were poised to win the game. They managed to fight through some penalties, including a harrowing three-man penalty killing situation.
    However, the Grizzlys tied things up again at 17:15 in third. The puck was lobbed high into the air and landed in front of Dragons goalie Jonny Hogue. Hogue lost track of the puck and in the ensuing scramble, the Grizzlys snuck the puck past him.
    The game was finally settled in overtime with a goal from Ethan James, who was awarded the Dragons star of the game.
    The win puts the Dragons back in third place of the AJHL Southern Division and one point behind the Okotoks Oilers. However, things are tight at the moment in the Southern Division, with only five points separating second and seventh place.
    The Dragons are back on home ice on Saturday against the Sherwood Park Crusaders at 7 p.m.

Dragons look to get back on winning track

    The Drumheller Dragons are looking to regain some traction after a slip in the standings over the past week.
    Since their overtime loss to the Whitecourt Wolverines on November 9, the Dragons have yet to get a win and have consequently fallen two spots in the AJHL Southern Division standings.
    “Every team has an opportunity to win this year. Record-wise, I don’t think there are any runaway teams,” said Brian Curran, head coach and general manager of the Dragons. “The door is wide open for anybody. The funny thing is if you lose a couple games like we did, you go from third to fifth place.”

Colton Vannucci, left, crushes a Brooks Bandit on Friday, November 15. The Dragons are reeling after losing 4-3 in a shootout to the Bandits and 4-2 two nights earlier to the Drayton Valley Thunder. They look to regain some momentum on Saturday against the Sherwood Park Crusaders at home at 7 p.m.

    On Wednesday, November 13, the Dragons were struck by a 4-2 loss to the Drayton Valley Thunder.
    The Dragons were fighting from behind the entire game. The Thunder got off to a 1-0 lead early in the first period, which was increase to 2-0 in the opening minute of the second.
    Colton Vannucci put the Dragons on the board, but a series of penalties and high tensions gave the Thunder a string of powerplays, which they used to score twice more.
    Trent Ouellette would bring the game to 4-2 on a powerplay early in the third, but the Dragons couldn’t catch up and in the end lost.
    Two nights later, the Dragons hosted the Brooks Bandits. The game was close and was decided in a shootout. The Bandits came out on top 4-3.
    The Bandits got the first goal of the game late in the first on a powerplay and gained a 2-0 lead early in the second.
    Christopher Rauckman took advantage of a Bandits slashing penalty and brought the game within one goal. However, tempers flared between the two teams soon after Bandits took exception to some hooking by Dakota Zaharichuk, resulting in the Dragons being down a man. The Bandits capitalize and took a 3-1 lead.
    Things were looking grim, but the Dragons came out ready for a battle.
    “We played great in the third period. In the first two periods we worked hard, but not as a team. In the third, we worked hard together and won battles, which is what we need,” said Curran.
    Hunter Mills propelled the Dragons to a 3-3 tie with two goals.
    “It was a hard working goal by every player on the ice. That’s what we need,” said Curran.
    The game went through a scoreless overtime period and then was settled in a shootout. The Bandits scored on their first shot but the Dragons couldn’t get past Bandits goalie Michael Fredrick.
    The Dragons were scheduled to face the Olds Grizzlys the following night, but the game was cancelled due to the weather.
    “We weren’t going to take that chance. At the end of the day, the safety of our players, staff, and driver come first,” said Curran.
    The Dragons had been racking up wins over the past month, but have recently hit a rough patch.
    “I think our guys worked a lot harder, but we have to get better at home. We’ve had three games where we simply had to have better performances. We’ve addressed it and I think we’re on the road to correcting it,” said Curran. “Things are better now than at the start of the season, but I still have lofty expectations of our team.”
    The Dragons next face the Sherwood Park Crusaders on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Drumheller Memorial Arena. They faced the Grizzlys last night, but the results were not available as of press time.

Dragons continue building momentum

    The Drumheller Dragons are making a push to the top of the AJHL Southern Division standings.
    Over the weekend, the Dragons had two games and came away with three points.
    First, on Friday, November 8, they travelled to Okotoks to face the Oilers. The Dragons were only several points behind the Oilers prior to the game and were hoping to close the gap.
    A dominating performance by the Dragons ensured a 4-1 victory.
    Things looked grim for the Dragons early on when they were down by a man 3:40 into the first period. However, nothing sets the tone of a game like a short-handed goal.
    Dakota Zaharichuk off a pass from Trent Ouellette put the momemtum squarely with the Dragons when he scored short-handed 4:28 into the first period.
    At 10:05, Hunter Mills scored the Dragons second short-handed goal of the night.
    The Oilers kept up the pressure, however, and managed to get the puck past Adam Beukeboom for their only goal of the night.
    The Dragons added to their lead in the second and third periods with goals by Sam Williams and Alex Bechtold.
    The following night, the Dragons were back at home, this time to face the Whitecourt Wolverines, who the Dragons bested the weekend before.
    The game started off with the Dragons in control, Mills gave the Dragons a 1-0 lead less than a minute into the first period. The goal was Mills’  tenth of the season.
    From there, the Wolverines pushed back and the two were locked in some back-and-forth hockey for the next few minutes.
    Halfway through the period, Ouellette charged deep in the Wolverines’ zone and fought off defenders behind the net. Eventually he managed to get to the point and snap the puck into the back of the net for the Dragons’ second goal.
    The Wolverines weren’t beaten yet and they scored a goal of their own soon after. When they came out after the intermission, they kept up the pressure and tied things up halfway through the second period.
    Despite a flurry of shots in the third, the Dragons couldn’t regain the lead and the game had to be settled in overtime.
    The Dragons couldn’t get a shot off during overtime and after almost four minutes of hard fought hockey, the Wolverines came away with a goal and the win.
    The two games give the Dragons 27 points, one behind the Oilers, in the standings. They are also in striking distance of the Brooks Bandits, who have 31 points.
    The Dragons have a chance to make some headway on Friday when they host the Bandits at 7 p.m. at the Drumheller Memorial Arena. They then head to Olds the following night.

Trent Ouellette fights off a Wolverine behind the net at the Dragons game on Saturday night. Ouellette would eventually get out in front and scored the Dragons’ second goal of the night. The Dragons earned three points over the weekend and are currently in third place of the AJHL Southern Division and are only one point behind the second place Okotoks Oilers.

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