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Last updateThu, 14 Oct 2021 10am

Drumheller Minor Hockey welcomes new board

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Drumheller Minor Hockey Association selected its new board at its AGM.
The Association held its AGM virtually on Wednesday, May 5, via Zoom. Keith Poole will be serving as president, and vice presidents are Ryan Bitz and Scott Freilinger. The league representative is Kevin Hunter, and the secretary is Dee Chambers. The registrar is Stephanie MacDermid, special events coordinator is Krystal Sharpe, and the equipment manager is Kim Moulton. New to the board is Blair Christensen as director of player development, and Mitch Goldamer as treasurer.
Newly appointed president Poole says it is a strong board.
“We have a great board with lots of talent and lots of people who are going to dive right in. I’m pleased with the outcome,” said Poole.
He is also looking forward to hockey returning, whatever that might be.
“We’re hoping to be back to some normalcy by September, we have to take the approach as one step at a time, and whatever AHS rolls out, we have to adapt and put something together,” said Poole. “Everyone is optimistic we’ll be doing something by September.”
He says they will be holding registrations for the coming season in the near future, and expect numbers will still be healthy.
“We still have a good core group of kids that want to play, and if there is a will, we are going to let them play,” he said.
It was a tough season for hockey players, but Drumheller Minor Hockey did get a few opportunities to improve their skills and learn the game. When most Minor Hockey Associations shut down earlier this year, as many were losing their ice, Drumheller Minor Hockey seized the opportunity. Players that wished to end the season were refunded, but those who wanted to continue on the ice were able to register for a developmental season.
They adhered to all the protocols and were able to work out in small cohorts.
“We had coaches in each group that were willing to coach, so it worked out. It was good development for the kids, and another way to keep sanity really,” said Poole.
When the season comes back around, while players might have an edge over other associations who completely shut down, for Poole, it is more about the players’ well-being.
“It is more about the kids’ mind development. When they are doing it, whether it’s hockey, baseball, or football, as long as they are active, it keeps up all those motor skills. My kid is definitely a better kid when he is playing sports.”

Dragons' season ends


It was an unceremonious end to the Drumheller Dragons hockey season on Wednesday, April 28, when the AJHL announced the final schedule for the 2020-2021 season, and the Dragons weren’t on it.
The AJHL announced its final cohort pairings for the season. The Dragons were not on the schedule. This follows the cancellation of their April 24 and 25 games versus the Okotoks Oilers, after a positive COVID-19 result was identified in the Dragons’ Cohort.
“We kind of exhausted all options and persevered through as much as we could. But I think kind of what was happening throughout the league, the writing was kind of on the wall, and it was time to align ourselves with the ending of other leagues, the western league mainly,” said Dragons coach Kevin Hasselberg.
He said this year there would not be any playoffs, nor will the league award a championship.
“The point and goal of playing these games was to ensure players had the opportunity to showcase their skills and character to potentially earn an opportunity to play at the next level and give the opportunity to these kids to play and compete and maintain some normalcy in the COVID world,” said Hasselberg.
The Dragons completed the latest round of games with a 5-5 record, the fourth-best in the Viterra AJHL South division.
“It’s been great, we’re really thankful, but it is time to call it,” said Hasselberg.
“We can’t wait to get fans back into the rink so we can play the game the way it was meant to be played.”

Yakimchuk commits to Lindenwood University Lions


The Drumheller Dragons announced 20 year-old defenseman Aiden Yakimchuk has committed to Lindenwood University for the 2021-2022 season. The Lions play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA Men’s Division 1) and are based out of St Charles, Missouri.
The Lions finished 2020-21 with an overall record of 15 wins and 1 loss, capturing their fourth straight Conference championship. Lindenwood University Men’s Hockey is set to join the NCAA Division I ranks for the 2022/23 season.
Yakimchuk is playing in his fourth Alberta Junior Hockey League season, playing his 17-year-old year with the Sherwood Park Crusaders and the last three seasons with the Drumheller Dragons. The 6’4 defenceman from Edmonton, AB has played in 149 games and scored 6 goals and 29 assists for a total of 35 points. Yakimchuk is enjoying his most offensive season to date scoring 2 goals and adding 4 assists in 10 games played.
“Aiden is a reliable two-way defenseman that plays in all situations.” says Coach Kevin Hasselberg. “Aiden is a player that studies the game extensively and has committed himself to his team, teammates and his personal development. He has developed his leadership skills and represents the team and the League with integrity, composure, and class. We are very fortunate to have Aiden play three full seasons as a Dragon and look forward to watching his development over the course of his college career.”
The Drumheller Dragons would like to thank the Lindenwood University coaching staff and Head Coach Rick Zombo for all their recruiting efforts and invested time following Aiden.
We would also like to extend a special thank you to Kyle Chase for his assistance in this recruiting process.

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