Dragons elim­i­nate the Cal­gary Canucks in four games and ad­vance to sec­ond round of play­offs ver­sus Brooks.

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Terri Hux­ley

The Drumheller Dragons have of­fi­cially won their first play­off se­ries against the Cal­gary Canucks.

Ver­sa­til­ity and con­trol is what Dragons head coach Kevin Has­sel­berg at­tributes their suc­cess to.

“Play­offs is all about con­trol­ling the roller­coaster ride and you don’t want to get on that ride and get too high or get too low,” said Has­sel­berg. “We’ve cer­tainly been chal­lenged with a lot of dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios in the first three games of the se­ries and ob­vi­ously Sun­day night’s re­sult is what we are very happy with and the ef­fort that was brought forth by our play­ers.”

On Thurs­day, March 8, the open­ing match to the se­ries took place at the Drumheller Memo­rial Arena where the Dragons won 6 – 3.

The game started off with a bang as the Canucks scored 34 sec­onds in. Slater Dykema, as­sisted by Brett Ed­wards and Daw­son Bruneski scored off the power play to quickly tie the game. Tyler Krek­lewich was as­sisted by Alex Ro­tundo and Bradley Ston­nell to claim another power play point shortly af­ter­wards.

Goals were ac­com­pa­nied by a num­ber of penal­ties for rough­ing, hook­ing, cross check­ing, and slash­ing from ei­ther side in the first.

Ro­tundo, as­sisted by Dykema scored the Dragons’ third goal nearly five min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod.

The Canucks fought back by tak­ing their sec­ond goal of the evening two min­utes later.

Third pe­riod is where the Dragons’ hard work paid off, putting the nail in the cof­fin.

Krek­lewich was right­fully named home star of the game for se­cur­ing three goals, two of which were cap­tured in the fi­nal pe­riod. Jor­dan Tau­pert also con­nected in the fi­nal pe­riod.

Both teams had 35 shots on net but the Canucks had bet­ter out­comes on the power play as they scored 2 out of 4 whereas the Dragons scored 2 out of 5.

Game 2 was held the next night on home ice and served as a hum­bling re­minder of the un­pre­dictabil­ity of hockey for the team.

Af­ter a back and forth point game, the Dragons let a goal slide into the net in the fi­nal minute of the third pe­riod. They were not able to bounce back in time to tie up the game. The Dragons lost 2 – 3.

Game 3 was held in Cal­gary at the Max Bell Cen­tre on Sun­day, March 11, where the Dragons learned from their mis­takes, win­ning the game 8 – 1.

“It’s a mo­men­tum ride as much as any­thing and I think our play­ers found that gear you need to com­pete with in the play­offs on Sun­day,” said Has­sel­berg. “It was def­i­nitely a learn­ing les­son from Game 2 to Game 3 and then get the re­sults that we had in Game 3 was some­thing that I know the play­ers were ex­cited about.”

The Dragons scored three goals in the first pe­riod, one in the sec­ond, and then another four in the fi­nal pe­riod. Each pe­riod held at least six penal­ties be­tween the two com­peti­tors.

“They travel to­gether through highs and lows and that’s go­ing to be the strength the team has when faced with all the dif­fer­ent kinds of balls that are thrown our way,” said Has­sel­berg. “I guess the one thing that drives this hockey team is how to­gether they are. They’ve cre­ated a brother­hood that’s go­ing to cer­tainly help them ad­vance in the play­offs as far as they can.”

Game 4 was also held at the Max Bell Cen­tre on Mon­day, March 12, where the Dragons came out on top win­ning 8 – 4. Jor­dan Tau­pert as­sisted by Nate Kee­ley took the first goal of Pe­riod 1. Canucks scored an unas­sisted goal to tie the game.

Sec­ond pe­riod was where the Dragons shined the bright­est. They scored 5 con­sec­u­tive shots which the Canucks re­sponded by tak­ing one point off the team shortly af­ter their streak.

Shot for shot ac­tion oc­curred in the third. The Canucks took the first and third goal of that pe­riod while the Dragons scored the sec­ond and fourth goals, to­talling an ac­cu­mu­lated fi­nal score of 8 – 4.

The Dragons will be fac­ing off against the Brooks Ban­dits for round 2 of the play­offs. The Best of 7 se­ries will be­gin this Fri­day, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. in Brooks. Fol­lowed by another away game the next day. The team will be at home for the sec­ond half of the se­ries on Mon­day, March 19 and Tues­day, March 20 at 7:00 p.m.

It’s a mo­men­tum ride as much as any­thing and I think our play­ers found that gear you need to com­pete with in the play­offs on Sun­day”. Keven Has­sel­berg Dragons Head Coach

mailphoto by Terri Hux­ley

Canucks goalie Kolby Matthews, 30, an­tic­i­pates the in­com­ing of­fence Drumheller Dragons de­fense­man Troy Dud­ley, 17, and for­ward Slater Dykema, 11 on Thurs­day, March 8 on home ice. Cal­gary Canucks de­fense­man Brody Medeiros, 2, and cen­tre player Zach...

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