Drumheller Dragons | DrumhellerMail - Page #24
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Dragons rack up another win on northern road trip

    The Drumheller Dragons are back home following a trip up north.
    On Saturday, October 19, the Dragons were in Fort McMurray to face Canada’s number one Junior A team, the Oil Barons.  
    The Dragons came out of the gate looking strong. Ryan Suchorab gave the Dragons a big 1-0 lead several minutes into the game, but the Oil Barons tied the game up soon after.
    The Dragons fought hard, but the Oil Barons racked up three more goals over the next two periods for a 4-1 win over the Dragons.
    “We made four or five mistakes and they cost us, but in the first period we came out and had a very good period. In all honesty, we could’ve been up by a couple more goals,” said Brian Curran, head coach and general manager of the Dragons. “They’re the number one ranked team in Canada, so when you make mistakes, they capitalize.”
    The following afternoon, the Dragons were on the road against the Bonnyville Pontiacs, where they won 5-3.
    “I was impressed with our game on Sunday, especially considering we pulled in to Bonnyville around 5 a.m. and played at 2 p.m.,” said Curran. “Not a lot of rest, but our guys came through.”
    Dakota Zaharichuk gave the Dragons a 1-0 lead with only ten seconds left in the first period. The Pontiacs tied things up 13 minutes into the second period.
    The Dragons shook off their fatigue and came out strong in the third.
    “In the third period, we played like we should’ve played and got rewarded,” said Curran.
    Dallas Smith gave the Dragons a 2-1 lead on a powerplay four minutes in the third, but the Pontiacs won the subsequent face off and took the puck to the back of the Dragons net to tie the game at 2 apiece.
    Three back-to-back goals gave the Dragons the win. Ethan James was on fire and scored twice, with help from Rory Davidson, at 7:28 and 8:36 in the third. Mitchell Cook added the Dragons fifth goal four minutes later.
    The Pontiacs tried to mount a comeback, but could only muster one more goal late in the game.
    The wins give the Dragons a 7-7-2 record and third spot in the AJHL Souther Division. At this time last year, the Dragons were struggling with a 4-11-1 record.
    “We’re starting to find ourselves now. With the trades and acquisitions of players, we’re getting closer,” said Curran.  “There are signs of improvement. We’re significantly ahead in goals for, but our goals against are atrocious this year. We need to have a commitment to our zone and winning battles. If we get that, we’ll do much better.”
    The Dragons recently acquired some key players. Trent Oullette, Troy Gedny, Adam Beukeboom, and Jonny Hogue  have joined the team in past several weeks. Oullette in particular has been making his presence felt with 6 goals and 3 assists in only 6 games.
    “He’s got the ability to be a dominating player in this league,” said Curran.
    Curtis Skip remains out of the lineup for the next few days following an injury he sustained on October 16. Beukeboom and Hogue will man the net for now.
    The Dragons also let go of goalie Steven Glass.
    “It was tough to make the decision on Steven Glass. I wish him the best of luck, he’s a great kid,” said Curran.
    The Dragons are on the road on Thursday, but return home for a weekend double header. On Saturday at 7 p.m., they host the Calgary Mustangs and on Sunday at 2 p.m., the Camrose Kodiaks.


Dragons goalie selected for World Junior A Western Canada Selection camp

    Dragons goalie Curtis Skip has been selected for the Canada West Selection Camp for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge.  
    The 1994-born goalie came to the Drumheller Dragons this season  and has slipped into the starting role. In 10 games, he has .915 save per cent.
    “That is a big honour,” said Dragons coach Brian Curran.
    Before coming to Drumheller Skip played two seasons playing for his hometown Grande Prairie Storm.
    This is his second time he has been selected for the camp.  Curran says there are a number of factors that set him apart as a player.
    “It is his ability, his record, his wins and losses, and they know his character,” said Curran. “It is not only his ability to be a very good goal tender, it is his character, work ethic, practice habits… what sets him  apart is his will to be the best.”
    The 2013 World Junior A Challenge is in Nova Scotia and teams from Canada; east and west, Russia,  The United States, the Czech Republic and Switzerland will be competing.  It runs from November 2 to November. 10.
    The selection camp runs October 26 to 30 and 66 players are invited. The camp will be at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Jason McKee, coach of the Spruce Grove Saints is head coach.
    “There is tremendous talent in Canada’s five western Junior A leagues, and it was a challenge to select only 66 to invite,” McKee said. “We’re excited for the potential of this group, and we can’t wait to get on the ice in Calgary and choose the 22 who will wear the red and white in Yarmouth.”
    Coach Curran is hopeful that Skip will be able to make the selection camp. At last Wednesday’s game, he was injured.
    “Hopefully it does work out. The effort that you see and what he does everyday and how he performs is a honour just to be invited to the camp.”
    “Not only is it great for him as a player and teammate, but it helps to see that he is a part of your team and the organization is recognized.”

Dragons edge Canucks in goal-packed game

    The Drumheller Dragons racked up another win on Wednesday evening, their second in a row.
    In a back and forth game, the Dragons defeated the Calgary Canucks 7-5 in front of the home crowd.

The Dragons earned another two points with a 7-5 win at home over the Calgary Canucks. The Dragons dominated the first period, but the Canucks bounced back to keep the game within one goal. The Dragons are on the road this weekend, heading to Fort McMurray and Bonnyville.

    The Dragons dominated the first period. Trent Oullette scored the first goal of the night just 5:40 into the game, giving the Dragons the  upper hand. From there, the Dragons kept up the pressure on the Canucks’ defence and goalie Adin Hill.
    The biggest moment in the game occurred two minutes after Oullette’s goal. Canuck Brayden Beckley managed to strip the puck from the Dragons defence deep in the Dragons zone and charged at Curtis Skip, who started in goal for the Dragons. Beckley crushed Skip, leaving the Dragons net minder prone on the ice for over two minutes.
    While Skip was down, Beckley was assessed a 5 minute penalty for goaltender interference, and a game misconduct.  Beckley was ejected from the game.
    Skip eventually rose, but appeared in considerable pain. He sat on the bench for awhile and returned to the ice few minutes later.
    The Dragons had a two man advantage, owing to Beckley’s major and a previous Canuck penalty, for over a minute and then over four minutes of one man advantage, but they couldn’t get the puck past Hill.
    Oullette scored his second goal of the night with just under a minute left in the first, giving the Dragons a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
    When the teams returned to the ice, the Canucks stepped up their game and over the course of the period scored three goals. The Dragons added two more in the second and kept a 4-3 lead.
    Skip did not return to goal after the intermission and Steven Glass took the net.
    Trent Oullette earned a hat trick 9:03 into the third to give the Dragons a two goal lead. However, the Canucks did not relent and by the final minute of the game the Dragons were holding on to a tenuous 6-5 lead.
    The Canucks pulled Hill out of goal for the extra man. The Dragons defence remained strong and Oullette even managed to get an empty net goal for his fourth of the night.
    The Dragons are on the road this weekend, heading to Fort McMurray on Saturday and then Bonnyville the following afternoon. The Dragons next home game is in Hanna on October 26.


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