Dragons show im­prove­ment in week­end home­s­tand

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The Drumheller Dragons had a strong week­end home­s­tand, push­ing the north divi­sion’s num­ber one team to over­time, and then de­liv­er­ing a strik­ing blow to Grande Prairie.

The Dragons hosted the McMur­ray Oil Barons on Satur­day night, Oc­to­ber 15 in front of 593 fans. The Oil Barons are lead­ing the north divi­sion and opened the scor­ing mid­way through the first pe­riod.

Just 4:19 into the sec­ond pe­riod Joren Pate­naude had a break­away on the power play and tied the game at one. Just 13 sec­onds later, Brady Risk scored putting the Dragons up 2-1. It was short lived as the Oil Barons tied it to end the pe­riod.

Four min­utes into the third pe­riod, the Oil Barons went ahead 3-2, but the Dragons ral­lied and Blake Kleiner tied the game with 10 min­utes to go. The Dragons held on to force over­time.

A poorly timed hold­ing penalty two min­utes into the 3 on 3 pe­riod, put the dragons on the de­fen­sive and the Oil Barons scored the win­ner.

“It was a com­plete game, for 60 min­utes, the kids bat­tled,” said coach Brian Cur­ran. “For about three of four min­utes after they tied the game, they put on a lot of pres­sure, our goalie played re­ally well.”

The Oil Barons goalie also stood on his head to keep Fort McMur­ray in the game with two and half min­utes left.

“It was a spec­tac­u­lar save, a TSN highlight for sure,” laughs Cur­ran.

“In all, it was 57 min­utes of play­ing hard against a very good hockey club,”

The Dragons were back on the ice the next day, this time host­ing the Grande Prairie Storm. Rather than be­ing fa­tigued go­ing into the sec­ond game in as many days the Dragons had the jump go­ing up 2-0 in the first pe­riod with goals from Bradley Ston­nell and Slater Dykema. Evan Ro­chowiak scored early in the sec­ond pe­riod be­fore the Storm made it onto the board. Ston­nell scored his sec­ond and Evan Tschumi put the Dragons up 5-1 to end the pe­riod and Pate­naude scored in the late min­utes of the third to end the game 6-1.

The team is im­prov­ing im­mensely from where we were on day one,” said Cur­ran. “The thing is I am look­ing at the growth of this team. We are the youngest by age in the league, and when it is all said and done, that youth is start­ing to ma­ture. There is go­ing to be tri­als and tribu­la­tions by this team, but we are hop­ing that by Christ­mas time this team be­lieves it can be a force. I don’t want to wait un­til Christ­mas time, but when you look at where we started, un­til the last two games, we are learn­ing lessons very quickly.” This week­end the Dragons head north to play Grande Prairie, Dray­ton Val­ley and then White­court. They are back on home ice on Oc­to­ber 28 to play the Cam­rose Ko­di­aks.

The Dragons had a strong week­end, earn­ing three out of a pos­si­ble four points.

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