Drumheller Dragons | DrumhellerMail - Page #23
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Dragons roar over weekend

    The Drumheller Dragons are continuing to build momentum after racking up two wins over the weekend, despite a hectic road schedule.
    On Friday, November 1, the Dragons made the trek to face the Whitecourt Wolverines on their own turf and came away with a dramatic 5-3 win.
    The game started off fairly evenly matched, though the Wolverines got off to a 1-0 lead 8:19 minutes into the game.
    The Dragons bounced back and turned the game around in the second, outshooting the Wolverines 17-9 and taking a 2-1 lead. Trent Ouellette  gave the Dragons their first goal of the night on the powerplay halfway through the second. Before the period was out, Hunter Mills followed up with the Dragons’ second goal.
    The momentum shifted again in the beginning of the third period to the Wolverines favour. They racked up two more goals, taking up a 3-2 lead with only nine minutes to go.
    The Dragons surged back, and scored three more goals, one more by Ouellette, and two by Christopher Rauckman.
    The following night, the Dragons headed up to Grande Prairie to face the Storm. The Dragons fought hard for a 3-1 win.
    The Storm were roaring off the bat, however, outshooting the Dragons 14-9 in the first and taking a 1-0 lead.
    The Dragons came back in the second and stepped up the pressure, but Storm goalie Nick Kulmanovsky held firm, stopping 15 shots. It wasn’t until the second half of the third that the Dragons began to make some headway.

Dragons veteran Colton Vannucci had a big weekend, scoring two goals, including the game winner, on Saturday versus the Grande Prairie Storm. Vannucci has been one of the Dragons’ key players, racking up 5 goals and 8 assists so far this season. The Dragons are at home on Saturday, November 9, versus the Whitecourt Wolverines.

    Jacob Bonin, who joined the Dragons on October 27, gave the Dragons their first goal of the night. Colton Vannucci then scored back-to-back to propel the Dragons to a 3-1 win.
    By Sunday, when the Dragons were in Spruce Grove to face the Saints, the hectic road trip appeared to take its toll on the team and the Dragons lost 4-1.
    Unlike the prior two games, the Dragons initially had the upper hand. Bonin scored the first goal of the night to make it 1-0 for the Dragons heading into the first intermission. However, the Saints came marching in when the puck dropped on the second.
    The Saints tied the game up at 5:47 into the second and then scored a morale crushing short-handed goal several minutes later. By the end of the second they had taken a 3-1 lead.
    The Dragons stepped up the pressure in the third, but couldn’t get past the Saints defence. The Dragons pulled goalie Jonny Hogue in the dying minute, but it only served to give the Saints their fourth and final goal of the night.
    The two wins give the Dragons a 11-9-2 record with 24 points. They are currently in third place of the AJHL Southern Division and only three points behind the Okotoks Oilers.
    The Dragons look to deal a blow to the Oilers on Friday, when they head to Okotoks. The Dragons then return home on Saturday at 7 p.m. for a rematch against the Wolverines.


Ouellette comes home to finish junior career

    Drumheller Dragons fans may have recognized one of the team’s newest players in recent weeks.  
    Trent Ouellette, a native to Three Hills and Drumheller, returned to the Dragons early in  October to finish the final year of his junior hockey career. He had been playing for the WHL Regina Pats the past three seasons, where he amassed    19 goals and 31 assists in 194 games.
    “I thought it would be a better opportunity here and I wanted to play my last junior season close to home,” said Ouellette. “It’s been great so far. Brian (Curran, head coach and general manager) has helped out with the transition and has been a great coach. I like being able to play at home in front of  my family.”
    Ouellette has wasted no time making an impact with the Dragons. In nine games, he has eight   goals and four assists. He has also been named team captain.
    “It was definitely an honour to be given that role,” said Ouellette.
    Ouellette spent his Grade 11 and 12 years at Drumheller Composite High School after moving here from Three Hills. In that time, he started his junior hockey career and soon found himself in Regina.
    “I played a few games with the Dragons when I was 16, then I got picked up by Medicine Hat and then traded to Regina. It was a surprising change, but you have to go where they tell you to go,” said Ouellette.
    Even though he’s only been back in Drumheller a short time, he feels the change was well worth it.
    “It’s probably the most tight-knit group I’ve ever played with. Brian preaches we need to be tight on and off the ice to have success on the ice. All the guys have been great,” said Ouellette. “I’ve already learned more from Brian in the past three weeks than I have in the past three years. He’s one of the smartest coaches in the league,”
    At 20-years-old, this will be Ouellette’s final year in junior hockey. He’s hoping to use his time here to plan the next steps of his career.
    “Coming back here gives me an opportunity to talk to some universities. I’ve talked to a few, so next year I’m looking to play university hockey somewhere in Canada. It’ll be nice to still be able to play and start on a career path. I’ve been looking at the sports side of things, like sports pyschology,” said Ouellette. “But, I definitely wouldn’t say no if any pro teams wanted me.”

Trent Ouellette, who was raised in Three Hills and Drumheller, returned to the Valley to play for the Dragons early in October. Ouellette has already made his presence known, racking up eight goals and four assists in only nine games, and has been named team captain.

Drumheller Dragons trounce Camrose Kodiaks

    The Drumheller Dragons racked up two more wins over the past week, retaining their hold on in the top three of the AJHL Southern Division.
    On October 24, the Dragons travelled to Camrose to take on the Kodiaks. It was a close game, but in the end the Dragons came away with a 3-2 shootout victory.

The Dragons remain in the top three of the AJHL Southern Division after two wins over the Camrose Kodiaks on Thursday, October 24, and Sunday, October 27. The Dragons were in Hanna on Saturday, hosting the Calgary Mustangs, but were defeated 5-0. The Dragons head on the road this weekend to Whitecourt, Grande Prairie, and Spruce Grove.

    The Dragons had the offensive edge in the first period, out-shooting the Kodiaks and getting the first goal of the game.
    The Kodiaks came out strong in the second and pushed the Dragons back on their heels. The Kodiaks tied things up early in the second and then took a 2-1 lead late in the period after Ryan Suchorab was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking.
    The Dragons bounced back in the third. Trent Oullette tied the game up five minutes in. From there, the teams were locked in a stalemate and the game went to overtime.
    After a scoreless overtime period, the game was decided in a shootout. Adam Beukeboom denied the Kodiaks and Dallas Smith scored for the Dragons for the win.
    On Saturday, October 26, the Dragons hosted the Calgary Mustangs in Hanna. The Mustangs trampled the Dragons 5-0.
    The Dragons had some quality chances, but couldn’t get the puck by Mustangs goalie Ravi Dattani.
    The Dragons looked to redeem themselves the following afternoon in Drumheller. Despite the snow, Dragons fans came out to the game and were not disappointed. The Dragons, unbowed by the previous evening’s defeat, delivered a huge 5-2 win over the Kodiaks.
    The Dragons started off the first playing mostly in their own end, but battled hard to take control of the period. At 11:41, Hunter Mills gave the Dragons a 1-0 lead. A minute later, Regan Yew swooped in with a backhand shot to make it 2-0. Mills would get his second goal of the afternoon unassisted with just over two minutes left.
    The Kodiaks fought back in the second period, outshooting the Dragons, but Beukeboom remained solid in net. The Kodiaks kept up the pressure in the third, but a roughing penalty  proved costly when Trent Oullette scored the Dragons’ fourth goal.
    Then, the Dragons suffered a defensive breakdown halfway through the period, allowing the Kodiaks to score twice in under a minute.
    The Dragons regained their composure and Christopher Rauckman scored the Dragons’ fifth goal to make the final score 5-2.
    The Dragons are on the road this weekend, with three games back-to-back. On Friday, they head to Whitecourt to face the Wolverines. On Saturday they are in Grande Praire. Their trip concludes in Spruce Grove against the Saints on Sunday.
    The Dragons return to home ice on November 9.


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