Sports | DrumhellerMail - Page #3
Last updateFri, 02 Jun 2023 7am

Dragons wrap season in Game 7, Blackfalds advance

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It was a season for the ages, but sadly the Dragons’ playoff hopes were dashed on Tuesday night, April 4 in Blackfalds in Game Seven.
The Dragons finished the regular season in third place in the AJHL Viterra South with a 33-21-4-2 record. They dispatched Canmore in six games and went on to face the Bulldogs. They had the early upper hand going up 3-1, but momentum shifted as Blackfalds scrapped for a Game Seven.
On Tuesday Night, Blackfalds led 1-0 after one period. Connor Poffenroth to tie it up in the second, but the Bulldogs added two more. Blackfalds added one more in the third before Coy Poghin scored one for the Dragons unassisted, 17 seconds later. Blackfalds capped it off with 2:24 left in the game to win 5-2.
“Despite falling just short of the AJHL South Division Final, the Drumheller Dragons saw a community rally around them like no other. Between packed crowds at the Memorial Arena, a self-named student section called the “Rink Rats”, and police escorts out of town for the team bus, it was a tremendous season full of memorable moments. A special thank you goes out to the community of Drumheller for their tremendous support all season long!” the Dragons noted on their website at the conclusion of the season.
“We would also like to congratulate all of the Dragons’ graduating 20-year-old players on outstanding junior careers. They brought valuable leadership and experience to the team and played critical roles in the success of this organization all season long. These players include Sam Simard, Ty Whitford, Ben Christian, Garrett Fuller, Noah Danielson and Caleb Willms. We wish them all the best moving forward in their careers!
Outside of the Drumheller Memorial Arena, the Dragons had success in helping players reach their goals to further their careers and education.
Players from this year’s squad heading on to post-secondary programs include Easton Adrian (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Ty Daneault (Merrimack College), Vann Yuhas (Merrimack College), Coy Pighin (Colorado College), Kai Matthew (University of Denver), and Noah Danielson (University of Western Ontario).

Dragons battle through playoffs

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The fate of the Dragons’ season was on the line last night, however, it was decided after press time.
What is known is it has been an exciting second round playoff series between the Drumheller Dragons and the Blackfalds Bulldogs.
The Dragons returned home from Blackfalds on Tuesday night, March 28 with a split for Game 3. Ty Daneault didn’t waste any time and scored 1:11 into the game. Kai Matthew added one more and the Dragons led 2-0 after one. The Bulldogs tied it up less than seven minutes into the second period before Daneault scored his second of the game. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs tied it up to end the second.
The Dragons had some great chances in the third period. At the midway point, the Bulldogs were dealt a too many men on the ice penalty, and Dylan Glinski scored the powerplay winner. Ty Whitford added an empty netter to win 5-3.
On Wednesday, March 29, the Dragons Den was rocking again. Caleb Willms opened the scoring and Daneault followed it up to lead 2-0 after the first period. Vann Yuhas scored early in the second, but Blackfalds made their way onto the scoreboard. Ryan Henderson scored his second of the playoffs to put the Dragons up 4-1 after two periods.
The Bulldogs scored two in the third period to make it interesting. Yuhas put it out of reach with less than a minute left on the empty net.
The Dragons led the series three games to one and had a chance to win it on Friday, March 31. The Bulldogs set the pace, scoring just 31 seconds in. Ty Whitford added one to end the first period tied. In the second, Blackfalds went on a tear and scored five unanswered goals to take a 6-1 lead after two. Easton Adrian scored in the third but the Bulldogs added two more goals to take the 8-2 win and force a Game 6.
The teams were back in Drumheller Sunday evening, April 2. Blackfalds got the jump early and went up by two goals. Sam Simard scored with less than two minutes left to end the first period trailing 2-1. Yuhas tied it up in the second, but Blackfalds came back in the third with two goals. Ty Whitford added one, but that was as much as the Dragons could muster and lost 4-3.
Game 7 was Tuesday, April 4. Results were not available at press time. The winner of this game goes on to play the Brooks Bandits in the South final who topped Okotoks in six games.

Dragons receive league awards

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As the season comes to an end AJHL players are being honoured for their efforts on and off the ice.
The league announced its 2022-2023 All-League teams and Ty Daneault was selected as forward for the South Viterra Divison All-League Team. Daneault has had a stellar season and racked up 65 points in the regular season with 37 goals and 28 assists. In the playoffs he has five goals and four assists so far. He also played for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge back in December, and etched his name on the game sheet in all but one outing in January that produced a hat trick and six multi-point affairs.
Last week the AJHL also announced the Inter Pipeline All Academic Team. Each year the16 players selected demonstrate the qualities of an exceptional student-athlete working to further their athletic and academic achievements.
The 2023 Inter Pipeline AJHL All-Academic Team recognizes players regarded as having commendable dedication to their studies at either the high school or post-secondary level, along with a grade score reflective of their academic success.
Easton Adrian is the selection for the Dragons and earned a $1,500 scholarship. This season Adrian committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York.

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