Dragons show ‘em what they got at preseason camp
Dragons staff say their 2016-17 squad showed up in shape at the club’s main camp over the weekend, where players were evaluated in fitness testing and their first practice of the season.
All 36 players turned out for the camp at the Drumheller Memorial Arena, with veteran players Kartusch, Burghardt, Dykema, Rochowiak, Many Guns, and Tschumi, meeting the many new, young players penned into the lineup for exhibition play this September.
Head coach Brian Curran liked what he saw from the players he and his scouting staff had been selecting the past few months.
“The players all improved immensely from their last testing, which definitely made the coaching staff happy... These kids pushed themselves hard and as you watched you knew they were prepared,” he said.
After testing on Friday morning, the players hit the ice for their first practice before regrouping for an intersquad game that evening.
“The game was very competitive and for a first game it was quite physical. It was a little scrambly at times but the boys worked hard and after an intense morning and afternoon I was pleased that not one of them took a shift off,” said Curran.
On Saturday and Sunday the players met the Dragons’ new off-ice training program, nearly two hours of intense fitness, and regardless of how the season plays out in the win column, Curran said the players will be in shape.
“No matter what happens this year, our players will be in great shape this season.”
“I think our scouting staff did a great job and although we are a young team, our veterans showed a lot of leadership and led their teams in a solid battle for their first weekend together,” said Curran. “Overall the camp went really well, and we are all looking forward to an exciting season that our fans and community can enjoy.”
Following the weekend the Dragons made some roster cuts, and are now prepping for the annual AJHL exhibition tournament on Wednesday, August 31 in Okotoks. After the tournament, management will drop the roster down to the 25 in time for exhibition games for the upcoming season.
The club’s first home exhibition game is against Lloydminister on September 9.
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Drumheller Dragons players undergoing fitness testing with management at their preseason camp over the weekend. The club made some roster cuts fol- lowing the weekend and will be in Okotoks Wednesday for the annual AJHL exhibition showcase.