Dragons re­lease pre­sea­son sched­ule

The Drumheller Mail - - THE DRUMHELLER MAIL - Patrick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The count­down is on for the be­gin­ning of the AJH3 sea­son and the Drumheller Dragons have been work­ing hard to pre­pare.

)n Au­gust F, the Dragons re­leased its pre­sea­son sched­ule. The team hits the ice ver­sus the White­court Wolver­ines, the Cam­rose jo­di­aks and the Spruce Grove Saints at a pre­sea­son tour­na­ment in Cam­rose from Au­gust 3K to Septem­ber B.

Their first home ex­hi­bi­tion game is Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 6 ver­sus the )lds Griz­zlys and then on Dri­day, Septem­ber 4 they play the Brooks Bandits.

While the ice has just been in­stalled for the sea­son at the Drumheller Ie­mo­rial Arena, Coach jevin Has­sel­berg has been busy work­ing with the staff and ros­ter.

“@um­ber one, we want to es­tab­lish a cul­ture of ex­cel­lence. The agree­ment be­tween own­er­ship, my own philoso­phies and the in­tro­duc­tion of the man­age­ment com­mit­tee, I think there is a lot of en­thu- siasm, a lot of peo­ple that are will­ing to put in the work and a lot of sup­port from the com­mu­nity,” said Has­sel­berg.

He says it is key to cre­ate a cul­ture and iden­tity.

“Sum­ma­riz­ing it quickly, is “bet­ter peo­ple make bet­ter Dragons.’ I think it all starts with hav­ing good peo­ple in­place. I think the pre­vi­ous staff has done a tremen­dous job of iden­ti­fy­ing good char­ac­ter peo­ple,” said Has­sel­berg.

“When they put that jer­sey on, you know when they grad­u­ate from our pro­gram, that who­ever gets to wear that jer­sey next has to have to re­ally step up their game and have a very pos­i­tive im­pact on the hockey team to wear it with as much pride as the pre­vi­ous owner.”

While there have been some ar­rivals and de­par­tures dur­ing the off-sea­son, Has­sel­berg said a core of qual­ity play­ers will be back this sea­son.

“I think ev­ery­body who has played a sea­son for the Dragons… de­serves that op­por­tu­nity to be a part of this. They laid the ground­work for what we want to build mov­ing for­ward, I think we re­ally have to lean on those young men to keep es­tab­lish­ing that cul­ture,” said Has­sel­berg. While he was not with the Dragons last sea­son, he was im­pressed with how they fin­ished the sea­son de­spite the tur­moil.

“I watched the team in the play­off last year, there isn’t a player on that ice com­ing back to this team this sea­son that didn’t play with a lot of heart, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and they were very pas­sion­ate about how they per­formed and I think it said a lot about those young men,” said Has­sel­berg. “We are go­ing to pick on char­ac­ter first, and eval­u­ate skill and tal­ent.”

“Right now with a post sea­son eval­u­a­tion of a group of play­ers, who all want to come back to a pro­gram that ex­pe­ri­enced some sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges over the course of the sea­son, I think that says a lot about those kids.”

Kevin Has­sel­berg Dragons head coach

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