Drag­ons start sea­son with pair of road losses

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Sub­mit­ted

The Drumheller Drag­ons hit the road on Fri­day for their first reg­u­lar sea­son game of the year ver­sus the al­ways tough Cam­rose Ko­di­aks, and it proved to be quite a test for the young Drag­ons.

Cam­rose came out storm­ing and the Drag­ons were caught on their heels as the Ko­di­aks took a 3-0 lead after the first pe­riod.

The sec­ond pe­riod started off slow for the Drag­ons un­til 5 min­utes through vet­eran Slater Dykema got the Drag- ons on the board. How­ever, after two pe­ri­ods, the Drag­ons still trailed 4-1.

The Drag­ons came out fly­ing in the third pe­riod, show­ing a no-quit at­ti­tude as Dykema scored again and soon after de­fense­man Blake Kleiner ripped one past Ko­di­aks goal­tender Pa­trick Gora to bring the Drag­ons within one goal of the Ko­di­aks. It looked like the Drag­ons had all the mo­men­tum but they took a penalty and the Ko­di­aks scored on the pow­er­play to make it 5-3. Soon after, the Ko­di­aks added an­other, but the Drag­ons would not quit as for­ward Jor- dan Tau­pert added a late goal. The Drag­ons ul­ti­mately ran out of time and the fi­nal score was 6-4 for the Ko­di­aks.

“It was a game that I can say I was very proud of the boys,” said Drag­ons head coach, Brian Cur­ran. “I knew we would get caught up in the first pe­riod with so many first year play­ers. I didn’t want it to hap­pen but the first game for young play­ers is al­ways a tough one,” Cur­ran noted. “What I did like was after the first five min­utes of the sec­ond pe­riod we started to be­lieve and we never gave up un­til the end. We had our chances to change the out- come, but it was just too late.”

After get­ting home late Fri­day evening, the Drag­ons hit the road again on Satur­day and headed west to Can­more to take on the Ea­gles. Once again, the Drag­ons had a slow start and fell be­hind 4-0 after the first pe­riod. For sev­eral min­utes in the sec­ond pe­riod, the game could have been a run­away for the Ea­gles if not for solid goal­tend­ing by rookie Hunter Virostek.

Vet­eran Evan Tschumi fi­nally got the Drag­ons on the board by scor­ing a power play goal late in the sec­ond pe­riod. At the end of two, the Drag­ons trailed 4-1.

In the third pe­riod the Drag­ons come out fly­ing and scored two with goals by Tau­pert and for­ward Brett Camp­bell. The Drag­ons dom­i­nated most of the third pe­riod and had sev­eral key chances to tie the game at 4 apiece. How­ever, with just un­der four min­utes left the Ea­gles put the game away with a 5-3 win.

“I know that we are young but our play­ers need to un­der­stand that they all be­long in this league and when they un­der­stand that and grow to­gether we will do some great things this sea­son,” said Cur­ran. “It is go­ing to be a huge learn­ing curve for the boys but they are great young men and are will­ing to work hard. How­ever, it is all of our jobs to get them to be­lieve in them­selves and in each other,” Cur­ran con­tin­ued. “The way we played in the third pe­riod is the type of hockey that I per­son­ally loved and I know [as­sis­tant coach] Dar­ryl [Olsen] did too. The play­ers are ca­pa­ble of such good things this sea­son and I en­joy the growth I have seen but the play­ers need to start de­mand­ing that of them­selves as I know they will.”

The Drag­ons had Sun­day off but are on the road again on Mon­day for a game against the Cal­gary Canucks

The Drag­ons home opener is Fri­day, Septem­ber 23 at 7:30pm, and will be pre­ceded by the an­nual Tail­gate BBQ in the BCF park­ing lot from 5:007:00pm.

Photo cour­tesy Bro­ken Cur­few Photography

The Drag­ons home opener is this Fri­day, Septem­ber 23, with a tail­gate party at the BCF from 5-7 p.m. and then the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

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